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We are approaching the 29th Anniversary of the U.S. Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism Brothers and Sisters To Us. Under this banner, a number of milestones have occurred, one of which was the opening of an office within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) whose focus was on African American Catholics. Over the 20 years that we have been in existence, much attention was given to the development of programs and activities which focus on evangelization and combating racism in society and the Church.
Coming of Age A Time to Change
As the idea of a Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church has come to full bloom, the U.S. Bishops have embraced a new reality of the Church. We have now turned the corner onto something New. Diversity is very much of apart of our identity.
[On matters of religious faith, African Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation. Fully 85% of Black adults report belonging to one or another Christian denomination, 1]
Within this new framework, we will be able to walk with communities as they experience shifting demographics, changing leadership, and other challenges that accompany ministry in the 21st century . On this web site you will find ways to respond to these changes. We will be presenting educational events, educational resources, and suggesting facilitators and advisors to dioceses and national organizations who are intentional about building relationships within African American communities.
The expansion that has occurred revolves around ...bringing Catholics from various culturally diverse communities into a fuller participation in the faith2 As the idea of a diverse Secretariat has come to life, we have discovered larger possibilities at almost every level. We have learned how to work together, weve learned a great deal about how to prepare resources and we have greater clarity on what will be needed in the future. The core of our work has been and will remain focused on how we can best serve the Body of Christ.
1 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, February 2008.
2 Committee on Culturally Diverse Communities, USCCB Spring meeting, Mandate June 15-17, 2006
Beverly A. Carroll has been a longtime advocate and community organizer of inner city parishes and schools from her days of working in the Catholic Church in her native Baltimore, MD, to becoming a nationally known speaker on combating racism and affirming diversity.
Carrolls resume includes preparing priests and nuns for ministry in the inner city, chairwoman of the Fr. Charles A. Hall Cluster Board, chief staff officer for the Office of Urban Vicar in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, served on the Board of Sandtown-Winchester and Baltimore Bon Secours Medical Health system, a trustee for the Catholic Theological Union and Siena College.
She has received the prestigious Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King award from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in the area of civil rights and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Siena College in Loudonville, NY in 1999. Ms. Carroll led a delegation of African American Catholic women participation in an international meeting of women in Johannesburg, South Africa and has recently participated in a Conference in Enugu, Nigeria to implement the U.S. Bishops document on Solidarity with Africa.
Currently Carroll is an Assistant Director in the USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church and serves as staff to the Subcommittee for African American Affairs, under the leadership of Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Washington. She hopes to use her extensive experience to organize our dioceses and national organizations around issues that impact evangelization of African Americans to the Church. The Church in the African American communities is alive and vibrant. We have been blessed with a variety of gifts.
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