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Catholic bishops strongly condemned pro-Donald Trump protesters' incursion that penetrated the Capitol Building Wednesday as Congress debated the certification of the presidential election results, leading to the evacuation of lawmakers and the deadly shooting of one protester by law enforcement. “I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol,” Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Jan. 6. “This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety.” Read More
Eunice, La. -- As he entered St. Mathilda Catholic Church for Mass, Edward Francois, Sr. thought he recognized some strange faces present, but then said to himself “that’s not possible!” As he got closer to where he usually sits, he noticed it was possible. It was his family, it was his children with their families. After the church service, Francois was presented a 50-year certificate and pin from the Knights of Peter Claver 3rd Degree by Sr. Knight Joseph R. Bernard, the Grand Knight of Council 92 of St. Mathilda Catholic Church. Francois family arrived in Eunice from Georgia, Texas, Lafayette and Monroe to help begin the surprise for him on his 90th birthday. Francois was born on Oct. 26, 1930. Read More
WASHINGTON -- This year, as tens of thousands of people nationwide protested racial injustices, Catholics similarly took to the streets and also joined in prayer services and discussions speaking out against inequalities and seeking a path forward. The protest marches over the summer were primarily in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who died after being pinned to the ground by a white police officer. And more than six months later, the sting of Floyd's death was still felt in St. Paul, the city adjacent to where he died, where Catholics took part in a day of prayer and fasting against the sin of racism at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Read More
Chicago’s oldest hospital, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1852 and the first Catholic hospital in the nation to partner with a medical school, may soon be relegated to history. Citing years of struggling finances, changes in health care and the lack of support from government leaders, Trinity Health announced earlier this year that the 412-bed hospital located in a predominantly Black Chicago neighborhood would close early next year. Read More
Wallace Young Jr., who worked on several fronts to achieve equal rights for everyone, died Dec. 15 of a heart attack at Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma, his daughter, Bonnie Young, said. He was 89. He also was executive secretary the Knights of Peter Claver, the largest African-American Catholic lay organization in the United States and a member of Council No. 330. A lifelong New Orleanian, Young was a former president of the New Orleans chapter of the NAACP, former executive director of the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Catholic Human Rights Commission, the first Black chairman of the New Orleans Public Library board and the first Black executive director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, which stages the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. Read More
The nomination of retired Army General Lloyd Austin to serve as President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of defense is historic. If confirmed, he would be the first Black secretary of defense, a momentous occasion for a military that desegregated only 72 years ago and still struggles with a legacy of racial injustice. In addition, many Catholics may welcome a devout practitioner heading the Pentagon. Read More
November has been one of the most hectic months in recent memory. From the nearly week-long wait for election results to the resurging coronavirus, these past days have been especially tumultuous. These events have also overshadowed an already underappreciated celebration: Black Catholic History Month. Although it has continued to be one of the less lauded festivities in both the Church and in society in general, it is an important reminder of the contributions Black Catholics have made to the faith as well as representing a long-overdue step towards seeing Black Catholics as equal members of the Church. Read More
Devotional prayer, including a “Rosary for Liberation & Healing of the Black Community” and spontaneous praise and worship filled with the harmonies of the African American musical heritage. Liturgical prayer, including a Mass with reverence for Catholic tradition and with exuberance in the priest’s preaching and the people’s participation. Those experiences were among the elements that made the 2020 National Black Catholic Men’s Conference meaningful and memorable for participants and speakers. The African American Catholic Community of Oregon generously contributed my registration for this year’s first-ever virtual conference and my first NBCMC. Read More