Recharging Faith and Honoring African culture
The Society of the Divine Word is known for sending missionary priests and brothers to the farthest corners of the earth to serve.
But sometimes SVDs are needed in less exotic locations.
Twin brothers Fr. Charles Smith, SVD, and Fr. Chester Smith, SVD, saw a need to evangelize to African American youth across the United States and recharge their interest in the Catholic Church. So the Chicago natives helped start the Bowman Francis Ministry based in Indianapolis, Ind.
In the early 1990s, the Smith brothers, along with the late Fr. Anthony Clark, SVD and Fr. Ken Hamilton, SVD, pitched their concept to SVD superiors about a ministry that would focus on young black Americans. Fr. Chester said there was a real need for innovative and creative outreach at the time, as far too many young African American men were ending up in the prison system. They wanted to find a way to build this group up spiritually and inspire them to take a different path, serving as role models in their Church communities. More…