Mother of Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers Reveals Her Past in New Biography

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Red-headed and light skinned Christa Armstead was born in 1967 to an eighteen-year-old black mother and her father was a thirty-year-old white Catholic priest.

“There are no estimates of how many such children exist,” says a New York Times article, but a global support group for children of priests, Coping International, reported 50,000 users in 175 countries.[1] While the voices of these children have yet to be heard, one woman is telling her story.

In Illegitimate, Christa Armstead tells how she was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty in inner-city LA by a mother battling deep psychological wounds. The debut release from Redemption Press is a beautifully crafted and transparent story of the coming of age of a young woman who carried the pain and hidden stigma of her birth. Haunted by the absence of her father’s love, her rejection turned to insecurity, confusion, and rage.

At age nineteen, Armstead appeared on the Phil Donahue Show, along with her mother, to share their story of her origins, in a day when the revelation still had the power to shock. Too conflicted to fully tell her story then, Armstead is now speaking out.

Armstead, the mother of four, including defensive end Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers, says, “When I sat on the stage of the Phil Donahue Show, almost thirty years prior, I couldn’t fathom being free from the stigma of being the illegitimate daughter of a Catholic priest. What a beautiful life it turned out to be in spite of how it all began.”

About the author
Christa Armstead is an author, speaker, leader, the wife of Guss Armstead, and mother of Aaron, Armond, Alexis, and Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers, the founder of Armstead Academic Project. Christa is a beacon of inspiration and unwavering dedication, whose life’s work as a pastor and community advocate illuminates a path of support and uplifting for all. Drawing from her own journey, Christa’s compassionate and sensitive heart embraces the needs of others, a testament to her profound understanding of the human experience.

Grounded in an unshakable faith, Christa finds solace, strength, and inspiration to triumph over personal challenges, discovering the sweet taste of freedom in the process. She is driven by an unwavering passion to share her healing journey, and extend a hand of hope and guidance to those who strive for liberation.

[1] Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo, “Vatican’s Secret Rules for Catholic Priests Who Have Children,” New York Times, Feb. 18, 2019.

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