About 3,000 Black Catholics from around the country attended the National Black Catholic Congress July 20-23 in the Washington D.C., area where they examined their role in the Church, how to share their unique gifts and rise above ongoing challenges.
Marc Guess, a parishioner at St. Monica Catholic Church in Indianapolis, attended the first National Black Catholic Men’s Conference in Memphis 20 years ago. He has been to almost every one of the annual events since and plans to attend this year’s conference in October in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Catholic Church has a role to both promote racial healing and help dispel the fears that many people have of those who are unlike them, said Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry, who was recently named chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.
During Black History Month in February, Catholics are being invited to register to attend this summer’s National Black Catholic Congress, which over the years has made history of its own.
Imagining what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., might say if he were alive today, retired Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, delivered a homily in the voice of the slain civil rights leader to address how racism continues to impact the church and society as a whole.
To Father Robert Boxie III, the Catholic chaplain at Howard University in Washington, the naming of Washington’s archbishop “as a cardinal is huge, it’s historic.”