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In the coming year, the U.S. will celebrate the 50th anniversaries of several important civil rights milestones. To commemorate these important events and the contributions of many Catholics to the civil rights movement, Cultural Diversity in the Church and African American Affairs, in collaboration with several other organizations, has launched Rebuilding the Bridge: African American Affairs' 50th Anniversary Initiative. Check back regularly throughout the year for resources, events and other information.
In 2001, several bishops brought together a series of essays on the perspective of the different cultural families and on racism in general. Their insight remains relevant today and excerpts are now available.
June is Torture Awareness Month and June 26 is the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture. The focus of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), a USCCB partner, now includes ending torture in U.S. prisons and campaigning against solitary confinement. Help end torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture by downloading a free toolkit of resources from NRCAT
June marks the 17th Annual "Abortion and All Acts of Violence Awareness Month. Check out the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life's press release and flyer for more information.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Bishops' Statement "What We Have Seen and Heard". Find out what the bishops were saying 30 years and how it is still relevant today.
Sr. Thea Bowman (1937 – 1990) was a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration who dedicated her life to working for the African American Catholic community. She was instrumental in the creation of many Catholic multicultural and African American projects such as the first edition of Lead Me, Guide Me, an African American Catholic hymnal, and co-founded the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in Louisiana. Sr. Thea’s life mission was to share her rich cultural heritage and spirituality through song, prayer, teaching, preaching and writing. Although diagnosed with cancer in 1984, she continued to give programs designed to encourage communication between cultures including this historic presentation to the U.S. Catholic Bishops about Black Catholic Spirituality in June 1989.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, Christian Churches Together, one of the largest ecumenical organizations in the U.S., offered a response and created a Study Guide to facilitate reflection either for groups or individuals. The webpage for this important document also has an additional introduction for Catholics to the Study Guide and an introductory letter from Bishop Madden and Bishop Flores.
Check out the biographies and autobiographies reviewed on Recommended Reading about Inspiring African Americans.
These reviews highlight the inspiring lives of persons of African
decent. We will continue to update this page, so keep checking back for
new ideas for an inspiring read.
In this compendium of articles authored by individual bishops, the U.S. Catholic Bishops speak about diverse approaches that dioceses are using to combat racism. An updated edition will be available in 2014.
Reconciled Through Christ explores the reconciliation and greater collaboration
between Hispanic American Catholics and African American Catholics
Second Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.
Pew Edition: $15.50/copy
Join the Free Catholic Charities USA Parish Social Ministry Professional Interest Section Open to all interested in enhancing the "...vitality and quality of social justice ministries in our parishes..." Enjoy many ministry support and professional development benefits.
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