WWRJ – Sr. Antona Ebo

On March 10th, Sister Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, took off from Saint Louis, Missouri to Selma on a chartered plane that she joked had been pulled out of mothballs. The March 11th cover of The New York Times featured a photo of Sister Ebo marching alongside other protesters. That photo would become …

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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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St. Rita’s Academy and the Oblate Sisters of Providence

The story of St. Rita’s Academy—a convent and parochial school for Black girls—begins decades before the academy’s founding in 1912. In the late 19th century, the pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, Rev. Ignatius Panken, faced a conundrum. The parish—founded in 1873 at the intersection of 14th and Gay streets to serve Black Catholics—needed trained teachers …

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Mother Emma Lewis

Looking back into the history and growth of the Catholic Church at the southern Jersey shore, one would be hard-pressed to find a more beloved and remembered individual than “Mother” Emma Lewis, founder of Atlantic City’s Saint Monica Church community and trailblazer to the Black Catholic Community of South Jersey. Born in Ohio to Baptist …

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First black sisters pioneered black spirituality in Catholic Church

Oblate Sister of Providence Magdala Marie Gilbert decided a while back that she was only going to live to be 100. That means there’s 13 years left for her realize her goal of seeing Mother Mary Lange, the Oblates’ foundress, become a saint. “So she best to get canonized in that time,” Gilbert said, chuckling. …

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