Black Spirituality Newsbriefs :

Should the Catholic Church have an African-American rite?

After growing up Baptist, Nate Tinner-Williams became a Roman Catholic in December 2019. Now, after a move to New Orleans, he is planning to enter into formation with the Josephites, an order of brothers and priests who have ministered specifically to the African-American community since 1893. In the meantime, he has devoted himself to developing Black Catholic Messenger, an online publication he co-founded in October 2020.

I spoke with Mr. Tinner Williams about his faith, the Black Catholic Church in the United States and the hope of reviving a proposal for a uniquely African-American way of celebrating the Mass, in light of Pope Francis’ recent calls to inculturate the liturgy. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.