Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals

I’m Hosting Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Author of Our Lady of Victory:The Saga of an African American Catholic Community


Our Lady of Victory


Since writing In My Mother’s Words, I have had the opportunity to meet many other authors, and one of them is Nonnie Jules whose books Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend and The Good Mommies’ Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughter’s have become hits with a wide range of readers.

This vivacious and generous lady is also the president of Rave Reviews Book Club, a wonderful place of support for independent authors.

When Nonnie asked me to introduce Shirley Slaughter on my blog this week so readers could get to know her, I was honored.

Author Shirley Harris-Slaughter wrote a compelling story of a growing Black Catholic parish, Our Lady of Victory, founded in 1943 in Detroit, MI. She highlights both the joys and struggles of  parish school and church during a difficult time.

This book gives insight into the journey of the parishioners in this community who persevered in their faith and the progress they made over many years.

When Shirley Harris –Slaughter wrote Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African American Catholic Community, she paid a beautiful tribute to the church that obviously made such an impact on her life.

 Her research and attention to details provide an interesting glimpse into the events of the church, the school, and the community.

I am honored to host Shirley on my blog this week. Here she shares the story of a fallen hero – her brother.Author (2)


He’s my brother and I miss him terribly, especially around the holidays; in particular Memorial Day. This past holiday had me in a depression again because there was never any closure. So I found myself writing my congressman a FB letter. Here is the gist of it…

Dear Congressman Peters:

Today is Memorial Day and it pains me once again, that I never hear anything about what happened to my brother killed in the line of duty on August 24, 1965. There were 75 men aboard a plane that exploded over the Hong Kong River and Ronald’s remains were never found. There was a military funeral without a body which was the most horrific experience of my life. Only a dog tag was in the empty coffin.

I tried over the years to alert someone about his story. I joined the Michigan Vietnam Monument Commission out of Lansing – nothing there. I told them his story but nothing ever came of it.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) featured him in a memorial on Facebook and that’s about it. They ask for donations every year and I sent a letter once on August 28, 2012, to attention Jan C. Scruggs, but she never responded back. Here’s brother’s information.

  Lance Corporal Ronald Louis Powell

Killed in Action August 24, 1965

Cause: Plane Crash over Hong Kong River

Assigned: 3rd Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division

Name is listed on Wall in Washington DC (Panel 5E/Line 60)

Detroit News ran the story August 27, 1965

 I keep wondering (except for the Detroit News article) why there were never any stories or news or memorials about this catastrophic event. The other men’s families must be wondering as well.  Michigan (Oakland & Wayne counties) had the only soldier, my brother, to die like that in that year. There are no memorials mentioning these brave men. My brother’s name is carved on the “Wall” in Washington DC and I got the chance to visit it once in my life in 1992. I burst into tears. It was very emotional.

I’m emotional right now because I feel all alone in my grief but I am not going to plead anymore for somebody to take notice of this event.  Somehow it never occurred to me to contact my state representative until now to help me find out why no one is talking about it – not even the military.

Needless to say I got a phone call the very next day and the congressman’s office started an investigation. It’s going to take some time but I expect to hear back from them with a full report.

In the meantime in the age of the internet, my niece went online and discovered that it was pilot error that killed 56 out of 75 men on board. Funny, my family never heard anything about an error. Nor were we aware of any survivors. As a matter of fact we got no explanation as to what happened period, and therein lies my problem with this whole matter.

Ronald was an amazing person and a natural leader. Everybody respected him because he could stand up against the best of them.

Details of my brother’s amazing story can be found in the book.  There is a photo display of the Wall with Ronald’s name and details on the military funeral. Click here for your choice of a Hardcover Limited Edition(s) or paperback.

In her journal Mother wrote, “The school of sorrows graduates exceptional scholars.”

Thank you, Shirley, for sharing this with us. I look forward to reading  more of your work.

Book Trailer:

Author: marymcleary

Grateful for so many things, especially the peace He gives and the opportunity to tell it to my kids, grandkids and anyone else who wants to listen. Many read my first book In My Mother's Words, and I have recently published my second book, Heart Whispers from the Old Testament. Both are the result of the prayer journals my mother gifted me her last Christmas. Those journals were full of the wisdom of a Faith Walker and had to be shared.

15 thoughts on “I’m Hosting Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Author of Our Lady of Victory:The Saga of an African American Catholic Community

  1. What a wonderful, touching post, Shirley. My heart breaks for you and what your family had to endure because of this tragedy. Mary, thanks so much for hosting Shirley! Beautiful blog you have here.


  2. Reblogged this on Be My Guest and commented:
    Thank you Mary for hosting Shirley. This story brings tears to my eyes.


  3. I know I left a comment here but will try again. Hi Mary and thank you for hosting me on your blog. Its appreciated so much.


  4. Shirley, your story has touched me deeply. I’m so sorry to learn about what you and your family have been through, and it makes me wonder just how often this type of thing has happened thoughout our history? Congrats and best wishes on your book’s re-launch! xoxo 🙂


    • Danica I will bet that this happens more often than we think. We didn’t always have the internet where you can now look for anything. After I alerted my family to the letter I sent to our congressman, my niece went on the internet and found out there was pilot error and not all the men died. Unbelievable!! We never knew this and they never bothered to tell us. So I will wait until a report comes in on what they find. My brother was awesome and they always take the good ones.


  5. Mary, I forgot to thank you for hosting, Shirley! Thank you, sweetie! Your blog site is truly lovely. xoxo 🙂


  6. I find it hard to believe that there were survivors, and yet no one has offered an explanation as to what happened. I hope your brave efforts to uncover the truth lead you to closure.


    • Nicholas thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m reminded that I better call the congressmen because he is in the middle of an election to the senate. I want to know what will happen to the investigation if he wins or don’t win the election.

      Liked by 1 person

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