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Subcommittee on African American Affairs e-newsletter is now available online. The December edition highlights what is going on at USCCB and beyond including new new resources and upcoming BICM dates.

50th Anniversary Initiative - Rebuilding the Bridge: In the coming year, the country will celebrate several 50th anniversaries of civil rights milestones. Check out the 50th Anniversary Initiative page for more information about these events and the contribution of Catholics to this movement.

Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself:  We are pleased to present excerpts from Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself: U.S. Catholic Bishops Speak Against Racism. These short essays from several bishops articulate the perspectives of different cultural groups, address racism as a whole and provide suggestions to combat racism.

30th Anniversary of What We Have Seen and Heard: Take a look at the Black Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Evangelization to see what the bishops were saying and how it is still relevant today. Now available in Spanish!


African American


The Subcommittee on African American Affairs is the official voice of the African American Catholic community. The subcommittee attends to the needs and aspirations of African American Catholics regarding issues of pastoral ministry, evangelization, social justice, worship, development of leaders and other areas of concern. The subcommittee also seeks to be a resource for the all Bishops and the entire Catholic Church in the United States. It aims to articulate the socio-cultural dimension of the African American Catholic community and identify or create resources that would allow for an authentic integration of the richness of African American Catholic culture and the Catholic Church in the United States.


Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre,

Bishop, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Chairman of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs

Message from Donna Toliver Grimes
Assistant Director, African American Affairs

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy New Year!  Personally and as community, are we not standing at a challenging and inspiring juncture today?  This space is simultaneously old and new.  While 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery and related efforts which yielded passage of the Voting Rights Act, throughout the country and at all levels of government full voting rights are in jeopardy today.  Where 20th century television coverage ripped the veil from the face of the injustice, degradation and terrorism to which African Americans were subjected; 21st century cell phones and social media spotlight further instances of violence, dehumanization and injustice.  Such truth-telling has a transformative effect on our society.  Yet, this spotlight is not limited to #BlackLivesMatter in the United States.  Rather, it reveals injustice experienced by our brothers and sisters who struggle for human life and dignity around the world.  

By our baptism we too are commissioned to invite others to see and touch the wounds of our brothers and sisters in the human family.

I am reminded of the resurrected Jesus who displayed the wounds of his passion for doubting Thomas, urging him to see, touch and believe.  (Jn 20:27)  By our baptism we too are commissioned to invite others to see and touch the wounds of our brothers and sisters in the human family.  We are invited to live in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Communion of Saints, to live harmoniously with one another and thus, experience the joy of the gospel.  

In 2015, African American Affairs will advance initiatives and activities to strengthen family life, build leadership and fortify our community.  Below is a preview of key efforts.  Please let me know if you are interested in partnering on any of these goals.

  • Continue the 50th Anniversary – Rebuilding the Bridge initiative through December
  • Foster marriage and support family life in the African American community through communications and online resources
  • Host a Young Adult Summit May 29-31, 2015 to develop viable approaches for evangelization and leadership
  • Collaborate with Catholic youth organizations
  • Be more responsive to the pastoral needs of Black Catholics, including those who are not connected to Black Catholic parishes and organizations

May God bless you and our ministry efforts abundantly this year and may we experience the fullness of His redemption.  


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