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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.

Subcommittee Members


Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre,

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

Summer Message from the Assistant Director, African American Affairs

Music and sun, family and friends, barbeques, beaches and bugs…  What else is synonymous with summer?  In recent years my parish has teamed up with a neighboring parish to sponsor a week-long Vacation Bible School for adults and youth.  Both groups enjoy joyful singing and movement, relaxing fellowship over a light meal, and of course, prayer and Bible study.

In the first session this year we traded stories about praying the family rosary.  Some spoke of block or neighborhood rosary experiences that included non-Catholics.  Ms. Mary’s cookies enticed young folks to invite their friends.  In my own family, Mother tried her best to gather us like my grandparents gathered her and her brothers.  Happily, in some circles the tradition continues.  

The season offers many spiritual renewal opportunities, for individuals and for family.  We can thank God together for the bounty of cook-outs and the precious gift of love and friendship.  With extended daylight, we can take the time to walk and talk together, to play, to learn more about one another.  In the cool of the day, early morning or evening, we can slow our pace, enjoy the breeze or the shade and release hurts.  The joys of summertime may ease us into forgiving each other and accepting differences.  

Beyond creating new memories, this is a time to dig deeper spiritually, to be more present with God and one another.  Reading the Bible, listening to spiritual music, lingering in prayer or taking part in a Vacation Bible School experience in your area could make this a most memorable summer with eternal consequences.

Donna Toliver Grimes
USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church
Assistant Director, African American Affairs

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