Our Youth

Let Them Speak: I Am an Authentically Black Catholic

The annual Kujenga conference helps young Catholic men and women grow spiritually, while also having fun. During one activity, young women wore crowns to positively reinforce their worth as daughters of the one true King. (Photo courtesy Donna Leslie)

By Tiffany Chyke-Okpuzor

Kujenga is a spiritual leadership conference. The theme of this year’s Kujenga was “Who do you say I am? Authentically Black Catholic. (Luke 9:20)”


At first this theme didn’t really resonate with me, but as the conference progressed, I understood the deeper interpretation of this theme through the preaching. The theme of Kujenga was to inform the youth that we are not just Catholic, but that we are black Catholics.

I personally enjoyed Deacon Turner’s homily because he told a story about a college experience he had with a professor. I really like the story because it was funny and

interesting, and in the end, he connected it to the Scripture readings.

The rites of passage ceremony was rewarding to me because my sister was one of the graduating Doves and it made me hopeful for next year when I will be a graduating Dove. To add on, it was beautiful to see the graduating Doves welcomed by the Kujenga Alumni Association.

Overall, Kujenga was a rewarding experience. I can’t wait for next year!

Chyke-Okpuzor is a senior at Bronx Science H.S. and attends St. Clare, Rosedale.