The Cathedral of All Souls has hired Reverend Naomi Tutu, the daughter of famed South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The younger Tutu begins her tenure at the church in Biltmore Village this fall.
Reverend Tutu’s work at All Souls will focus on social justice. That’s according to the Very Reverend Todd Donatelli, the dean of the church that serves as the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina.
“We realized we are a predominantly white congregation, and we need to be engaged with folks whose stories are different than ours," says Donatelli.
Tutu’s official title at All Souls will be ‘Cathedral Missioner for Racial and Economic Reconciliation”, a reference to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was formed in her native South Africa following the end of apartheid. Her father sat on that commission, and Reverend Donatelli says the younger Tutu can bring knowledge from that to Western North Carolina, a region that still grapples with its own painful racial history – a history Donatelli says has never been fully examined. “As Jesus said the truth makes us free," Donatelli explains. "What they probably edited out is that it will make us uncomfortable and painful as well. But the truth of our tradition and lots of traditions is that the truth will finally make us free.”
Reverend Tutu’s first day with All Souls is November 4th – All Saints Day.