THE INSTITUTE FOR BLACK CATHOLIC STUDIES
The historical roots of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana are intertwined with those of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC), which was founded in 1968 and the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS) that convened for the first time October 12-15, 1978. The Symposium was organized under the auspices of the NBCCC and directed by the creative leadership of the Reverend Thaddeus Posey, OFM Cap. In planning this gathering, Father Posey worked in association with the Reverends Augustus Taylor and David Benz and consulted with the Reverend Dr. Joseph Nearon, SSS and Sister Jamie Phelps, OP. Their efforts brought together Black Catholic priests and vowed religious women and men who were trained as pastoral and intellectual leaders and critical thinkers in the various theological and ecclesial disciplines. This first assembly of the Symposium was held at the Baltimore Motherhouse of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Catholic religious congregation of vowed Black women. Participants presented formal papers and responses that addressed some of the topics crucial to the development of a distinctively Black Catholic theological and pastoral response to the Black condition. These topics included values, self-concept, liturgy, catechesis, and spirituality. The papers from this meeting were edited under the direction of Father Posey and published as Theology: A Portrait in Black.