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The Knights of Peter Claver Statement on
the Advancement of Father Augustus Tolton's
Cause to Become the First Black American Saint.

Washington D.C., Feb 24, 2016 / 03:12 am (CNA).- For Fr. Stephen Thorne, Black History Month is not only a chance to remember the struggles faced by the African-American community throughout the centuries. It’s also an opportunity to learn from the witness of one of the oldest communities of Catholics in the U.S. This witness of Black Catholics, in the face of discrimination and animus, is a gift all Catholics can learn from, said Fr. Thorne, an African-American priest in the Philadelphia archdiocese. “The resilience of African-American Catholics today is a sign of (their) great faith,” he told CNA. Read More
Norfolk, Virginia, Jul 4, 2019 / 03:41 am (CNA).- An immigrant parish, burnt down, with only the crucifix remaining. A parish rebuilt, transformed and a key part in giving back to the community. In a sense, one parish’s story of struggle, pressure and rebirth is metaphor for the American Catholic experience. St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, Virginia, is the only black Catholic church in the United States that is also a basilica. Its dramatic history captures both the broader American Catholic history of persecution, growth and acceptance, but also a witness to the unique challenges faced by black Catholics over the centuries. Read More
Washington D.C., Jul 11, 2019 / 11:15 am (CNA).- Members of Congress heard testimony on Wednesday about harsh conditions in migrant detention facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, including from a bereaved migrant mother whose infant child became sick in detention and eventually died. “I am here because the world should know what is happening to so many children inside ICE detention,” Yazmin Juarez, a 19 year-old migrant from Guatemala, said in her testimony through a translator before members of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on July 10. Read More
Washington D.C., Jul 15, 2019 / 03:01 am (CNA).- It is an overcast day with threatening rain clouds overhead, but the mood in the basement of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Northeast Washington is downright sunny. Here, a group of Catholic teens are hard at work helping to prepare the “Holy Foods Market” food pantry for one of its monthly openings, and then later in the day they would make and distribute bagged lunches to some of DC’s homeless population. The teens, under the supervision of adult volunteers, were participating in Encounter the Gospel of Life’s Service Camp, a weeklong program that place groups of teenagers with nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. area, where they serve during the day. At night, there are keynote speeches, concerts, prayers, and community building. Read More
Vatican City, Jul 14, 2019 / 05:36 am (CNA).- Helping a person in need requires compassion toward their situation, Pope Francis said Sunday, encouraging Catholics to think first about their own hardness of heart, not the sins of others. “If you go down the street and see a homeless man lying there and you pass by without looking at him, or you think: ‘Eh, the effect of wine. He’s a drunk,’ do not ask yourself if that man is drunk, ask yourself if your heart has hardened, if your heart has become ice,” the pope said July 14. Read More
Chloe Becker was upset when she realized she could not name a single African or African-American saint. A junior at Magnificat High School in Rocky River, Ohio, Chloe was inspired to learn more about racial justice after attending a school-sponsored conference on racism. It led to the creation of a semester-long project: a mural depicting African-American saints and holy people in contemporary clothing, holding up the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Read More
On June 20, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Association et al. that a 94-year old cross memorializing local fallen World War I soldiers and standing on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland, was not a violation of the First Amendment. The 40-foot cross had been under attack for years, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had found it infringed the First Amendment, a ruling the Supreme Court overturned. The ruling came just as Catholics in the United States begin their “Fortnight for Freedom” to reflect on religious rights. Read More
Jos, Nigeria, Jun 21, 2019 / 12:14 am (CNA).- At a funeral earlier this month, Nigerian religious and political leaders paid tribute to Bishop Kevin Aje of Sokoto, well-known as a role model who worked for peace in the country. The funeral for Bishop Aje was held at Holy Family Catholic Cathedral in Sokoto. He died May 27 at the age of 85. Read More