The 40 days of Lent allow us to concentrate on the passion and violent death of Jesus Christ, the merit of which God the Father used to ransom the human race. It is a time for personal examination and spiritual renewal. These weeks moving up to the Holy Week ceremonies we meditate on the entirety of Christ’s mission of salvation, His life, teachings, healings in the light of His coming and His death and resurrection. Why not add a spiritual challenge to your Lenten resolutions: Perhaps, attend Mass an extra day of the week, read the Bible on a regular basis, pray the rosary or even just one decade weekly or daily or study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It is Catholic belief that we are not the mere biological result of chance. Rather, there is a God who purposefully created us and the world in which we live. Reason alone could lead us to know that God exists. But, through the Scriptures, especially through the words and example of Jesus Christ, God has revealed that our perfect joy comes only from living in a personal relationship with Him.
We tread these forty days because want to love God better, know ourselves better and love our neighbor better. Church is a group experience for Christians. We come together as a group because God created us to live in community and because Jesus modeled community as the way to God with his own twelve apostles and any number of other disciples, men and women, who were connected with his ministry. We know that if we try to journey alone, we will likely get lost.
None of us is perfect. None of us knows the way all of the time. We all fail. We all need help. So, we come to listen to the Word of God and nourish ourselves with his Eucharist and share our strengths and challenges, our joys and sorrows for our own good and the good of all.
During Lent we discover out of the spiritual treasure troves of Church the fonts of God’s mercy and the richness of our fellowship with one another through the rituals of Eucharist, reconciliation, scriptural prophecy and life promised us in His resurrection.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Chairman
USCCB Subcommittee on African American Affairs
A Message from Donna Grimes, Assistant Director - African American Affairs
Dear Black Catholics, Ministry Leaders and People of Good Will,
We offer these resources to further ministry with and for Catholics of African descent across the country. Black Catholics find ourselves in many different situations from vibrant parishes and well supported diocesan offices to dioceses with no representation or parishioners struggling to work with pastors, bishops or diocesan staff who deny or reject authentic Black Catholic spirituality. Some of us got fired up about this ministry through courses at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), Sankofa Institute or diocesan formation programs. Yet, they may not know where to go next. Regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves, THE MINISTRY MUST CONTINUE!
Prayer Cards and Pamphlets
- Download the
- Download the
- Download the
- Contact @email
- Learn about the 6 black Catholic candidates for Sainthood in an hour
- Order Black American Saints Pamphlet Set
Sr. Thea Bowman's 1989 Address to the USCCB
- Watch the video.
- Read the .
Race & Intercultural Competence (Readings)
- “Brothers And Sisters To Us,” National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), Washington DC 1979
- “Discrimination And Christian Conscience,” US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington DC, 1958
- “How Church Teaching Can Help Explain why ‘Black Lives Matter,’" America, Sept 2020
- “Fratelli Tutti,” Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, Vatican City, 2020
- “Humana Communitas: 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Pontifical Academy for Life,” Pope Francis, Vatican City, 2019
- “The Inner Life and Cultural Competence,” Len Sperry, (found in): The Inner Life of Priests, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 2008, pp. 59-70
- “The Journey Within and Intercultural Competencies,” Gerard J. McGlone, SJ & Fernando A. Ortiz, (found in) The Inner Life of Priests, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 2008, pp. 72-81
- “The Lessons I Learned from My Hispanic Parishioners,” Msgr. Scott Friend, (found in ): A Priest’s Life: The Calling, The Cost, The Joy, The Word Among Us Press, 2010, pp. 42-50
- “Many Faces In God’s House-A Catholic Vision for the Third Millennium,” USCCB, Washington DC 2000
- “The Multi-Cultural Reality of Priestly Ministry Today,” (found in) Same Call, Different Men, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 2011, pp. 92-111
- “The Nation’s Race Crisis,” US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington DC, 1968
- “Open Wide Our Hearts, “ USCCB, Washington DC 2018
- “Practical Steps for Eradicating Racism: An Invitation,” USCCB Subcommittee on African American Affairs, and Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, 2020
- “The Priest In The Midst of Cultural Diversity,” Bishop Gerald R. Barnes, (found in): Priests for a New Millennium, USCCB Secretariat For Priestly Life and Ministry, Washington DC, 2000, pp. 163-174
- “The Racial Divide: Are We Finally Awoke?”, Bishop Edward K. Braxton, Belleville, 2020
- “Reconciled Through Christ, “ USCCB, Washington DC, 1997
- Leveling the Praying Field: Can the Church We Love, Love Us Back? by
Dr. Ansel Augustine, Orbis Books 2022
- Black Catholic Messenger at www.blackcatholicmessenger.com
National Partner Organizations
Directors and Coordinators of Black/African American Catholic Ministry may benefit from partnering with our national organizations, as well as collaborating with other USCCB offices, external Catholic organizations and their own diocesan staff.
Whether your ministry is fully supported in the diocese, hanging on the efforts of a volunteer priest pastoring multiple parishes with no budget or staff for this ministry, a lay leader operating through volunteers or anywhere in between, the ministry must continue! The following organizations may supply secret angels to assist and strengthen you on the way.
African Catholic Association - fosters collaboration within the African Diaspora
Contact: Sally Stovall, President
Black and Indian Mission Office
Contact: Fr. Maurice Henry Sands, Director
Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS) - gathering of theologians and academicians who add to the body and knowledge and scholarly research in many disciplines
Contact: Dr. Kimberly Lymore, Convener.
Eat the Scroll Ministry (ETSM) - prayer, liturgical and catechetical resources, Black Catholic adult evangelization and formation
Contact: Evangelist Michael P. Howard
Francis Bowman Ministry - from the Divine Word congregation (Holy Ghost fathers) spiritual formation for men and women
Contact: Shaniqua Wilson
Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) - Based at Xavier University of New Orleans, offers master's degrees and one week enrichment programs in the summer, and related support to Black/African American people
Contact: Dr. Kathleen Dorsey Bellow
Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary, Inc. - a Black/African American Catholic fraternal organization that ministers to and develops lay leadership in men, women and youth & young adults
Contact: Dr. Christopher Pichon, Supreme Knight Gracious Lady, Jackie Simien-Guillory
Grant Jones, Executive Director
Micaela LeBlanc, Supreme Lady
Marriage on a Lampstand: Arusi Network, marriage and family life ministry
Contact: Andrew and Terri Lyke
National African American Youth and Young Adult Ministry Network (the Forum)
Contact: Gyta Martim
National Association of Black Catholic Administrators (NABCA) - professional association for directors/coordinators of Black Catholic Ministry (OBMs)
Contact: Fr. Reginald Norman, President
National Black Sisters Conference (NBSC) - fellowship of Black/African American religious sisters, lay associates associates and Catholic women
Contact: Sr. Addie Lorraine Walker SND, President
National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC)
email@example.com Valerie Washington, Executive Director
National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) - fellowship of Black/African American Catholic clergy (priests, deacons)
Contact: Deaon Mel Tardy
National Black Catholic Seminarians Association (NBCSA) - fellowship of Black/African American seminarians
Contact: Nate Tinner-Williams email: @email
National Black Catholic Deacons Association (NBCDA) - fellowship of Black/African American Deacons
Contact: Deacon Joseph Connor
Oracle Religious Association (Oracle) - offers evangelization and spiritual formation programs for Black/African American youth, women and men (Catholic and ecumenical) and faith formation resources
Contact: Sr. Dr. Oralisa Martin email: @email
Sankofa Institute - based in San Antonio TX at the OMI Seminary - Black/African American adult lay leadership formation, Catholic and ecumenical
Contact: Sr. Addie Lorraine Walker SND, Director
USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism
Contact: Danielle Brown, esq.
Associate Director - @email