Black Catholic Movement

The story of how Roman Catholics “became American” is very well-known. Beginning in the 19th century, Catholics were a feared and despised immigrant population that Protestants imagined to be inimical to, even incompatible with, everything America was meant to be. American mobs burned Catholic convents and churches. By the early 20th century, the anti-Catholic Ku …

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Cardinal Gregory prays on CNN for 500,000 Americans killed by Covid-19

WASHINGTON (CNS)—During a Feb. 22 evening program on CNN, Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory offered a prayer for those who have died from Covid-19 asking God to “grant eternal peace to all our sisters and brothers lost to this disease.” “Let us now open our hearts to recall those who have died from the coronavirus,” …

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Bishop Healy Vaulted From Slavery to Servant of God

WINDSOR TERRACE — Anthropologist Tom Riley did not understand why his grandmother, in the mid 1950s, resisted an interview with a priest working on a biography of the family’s famous ancestor, Bishop James Augustine Healy. Bishop Healy — the eldest brother of Riley’s great-grandmother, Martha — was born into slavery in Jones County, Georgia. He …

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A Black bishop reflects on the United States’ racial divide

Bishop Edward K. Braxton, bishop emeritus of Belleville, Illinois, says that today’s society uses the word racism too freely. It is used to refer to anything from inadvertent racial biases to the physical lynching of human beings, and its widespread and frequent use in the media, by religious communities, and by individuals means that it …

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The cry of an angry Black man in a world sick with racism

Sometimes I just want to scream. When confronting the frustrations of American life Marvin Gaye used to sing, “Makes me wanna holler, throw up both my hands.” Do you ever feel that way? That at some moment in time, in some place in which you are situated, everything just overwhelms you? You lift your head …

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Sr .Thea Bowman: What Does It Mean To Be Black & Catholic

What does it mean to be black & Catholic? It means I come to my Church, FULLY FUNCTIONING. That doesn’t frighten you does it? I come to my Church fully functioning, I bring myself; my black self. All that I am. All that I have. All that I hope to become. My traditions, my experience, …

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The Church and Racial Justice: A Conversation in Truth and Hope

The Sheen Center, in partnership with the Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York, will kick off programming in honor of Black History Month with a panel discussion on the Church’s complicated history regarding matters of racial justice as highlighted in the documentary “Facing an Uncomfortable Truth” produced by Mr. Steve Crump. …

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Holiness, God’s answer to hate

For much of this past year, America has been confronting the sad reality that racist thinking and practices remain all too common in our society. Millions of our brothers and sisters still experience indignity and are denied opportunity only because of their race. We have come a long way in American society to overcome the …

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If you’re a Western Christian, your spiritual ancestry is African

Western Christianity is fundamentally African, in the way that Eastern Christianity is fundamentally Greek. Most Eastern churches — whether they worship in Romanian, Bulgarian, or Old Slavonic — recognize that their ritual and devotional forms largely come from fourth-century Constantinople, where the liturgy was rendered in Greek. Western churches will acknowledge that their own roots …

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From Saint Domingue to Louisiana

The Haitian Influence on Religion In 1847 Lanusse and his friends helped to assure the survival of a small Catholic religious order dedicated to charitable work among the city’s enslaved people and free black indigents. The congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family was founded in 1842 by Henriette Delille, yet another prominent Afro-Creole …

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