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Some 175 faithful gathered last Saturday to honor a pioneering African-American priest now on the path to sainthood, whose heroic virtues are a model for modern times. Archbishop Nelson Pérez was the principal celebrant and homilist at a June 26 Mass in honor of Venerable Augustus Tolton, the first widely recognized Black Roman Catholic priest in the United States. The liturgy, which took place at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, was sponsored by the archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics and the Philadelphia Tolton Ambassadors, part of a national network dedicated to advancing the priest’s canonization cause. Read More
Sometimes we do not see or even acknowledge social problems. When we do recognize them, we do not always agree on what must be done to rectify the situation. Often these disagreements can result in inadequate responses. Read More
Following the sudden collapse of a multistory building with people trapped inside, many Catholics around South Florida have fled to a common refuge: the comforting presence of Mary. So it was that several schools in the Miami Archdiocese reacted to the June 24 fall of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside by praying the rosary. Reflecting on its glorious, joyful, sorrowful and luminous mysteries, they called on the Mother of God for aid and comfort. “I think everyone understands that in pain, you turn to your mother,” said Wency Ortega, who helped organize a virtual online rosary June 27 for students, teachers, families and alumni of Christopher Columbus High School. “And in turning to our Mother, we turn to Jesus.” Read More
The life of a diocesan priest is demanding. But for Father Robert Boxie III, the past year has been especially taxing. With many Catholics compelled to learn more about the Church’s teaching on racism and its application in the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 2020 killing, Father Boxie has become a sought-after speaker on the topic. The African American priest has presented not only to groups and parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington, where he serves as chaplain at Howard University, but across the country. “I’m happy to do it, but it gets exhausting,” said Father Boxie. Read More
“In hiring a director of Black student initiatives, we are addressing a need that came directly from engagement with our student body, which makes the possible impact this role can play on campus so exciting,” Welburn said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to welcome Samira back to Marquette and to see what she will be able to accomplish in our office. As an alumna, she is familiar with the Black student experience at Marquette and will be able to connect deeply with our students in fostering an inclusive environment in line with the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission.” Read More
"I was kicked out of seminary for being too Black. But God wouldn’t let me go... I stopped going to daily Mass, where I was normally a regular. I wondered if I could even be Catholic anymore, much less continue pursuing the priesthood somewhere else. I felt hurt and alone. After I worked through some of my anger and sadness in reflection and prayer, though, I realized something important: I was not going to allow other people’s hatred to control my life." Read More
many Black Catholics have urged leaders of their church to be more forceful in combating racism. Some have asked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to consider reparations and promote the teaching of Black Catholic history in Catholic schools. “We still don’t have the church taking a necessary stand against systemic racism,” Tia Noelle Pratt, a sociologist who has studied racism in the U.S. Catholic church and an adviser on Pew’s survey, told The Associated Press via email. “This means acknowledging the white supremacy that exists in the church and ways white church leaders and white members of the faithful beneļ¬t from it.” The Rev. Mario Powell, a Black priest who heads a Jesuit middle school in Brooklyn, said Catholic clergy need to preach more often against racism and speak out against some of their colleagues “who brazenly post white nationalist ideology online.” Read More
Gloria Purvis has been interviewed on a lot of podcasts, but she has never hosted a podcast herself. Until now. Purvis, whose weekday radio show “Morning Glory” was abruptly canceled without notice by EWTN last December, is launching a new podcast in May via America Media, the Jesuit communications ministry that includes America magazine. New installments of “The Gloria Purvis Podcast” will be posted weekly, although neither Purvis nor America Media had a launch date set at the time of the May 11 announcement. The podcast will be available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and other podcast apps. Read More