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Featured Article: I’m Going Home like a Shooting Star! The legacy of Sr. Thea Bowman - On June 17, 1989, less than a year before she died of bone cancer, Sr. Thea Bowman was invited to address the American bishops. Different as she was from this group-a Southern black woman, a nun raised among Protestants, a dying woman vibrantly alive-Sr. Thea was fully herself and very much at home. Read Full Story

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 We joyfully announce the ‘Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Ministries’
 I’m Going Home like a Shooting Star! The legacy of Sr. Thea Bowman
 Preparing for Christmas With the Advent Wreath
 John Paul II, Women, and the Catholic Contemplative Tradition
 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships
 10 Deadly Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys
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 Book Of The Month:
RINGSHOUT! A National Rites of Passage For the New and Promised Generation
 Author Of The Month:
Estella Conwill Majozo, Ph.D.
NBCC Spotlight
 Trailblazing to sainthood, the Rev. Augustus Tolton awaits canonization
Black Catholic Profile
 Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
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 WWW: Well Women, Witness!
November 1, 2014
 “Hunger for God” Annual Spiritual Retreat
November 7-9, 2014
 Black Catholic History Month Lecture
November 10, 2014
 “Pastoring in Black Parishes” A Series of Clergy Enrichment Conferences
November 11-14, 2014
 The 225th anniversary of Black Catholic History
November 16, 2014
 Bishop James Augustine Healy Award Dinner
November 21, 2014
 Restore Justice!
November 21, 2014
 Catholic Symposium
November 22, 2014
 Archbishop Lori is looking for a few good men
December 13, 2014
 St. Raymond and St. Leo The Great Women’s Conference 2015 “Irresistible Call”
January 17-18, 2015
 Youth Rally and Mass for Life
January 22, 2015
 Faith in the Woods: “A Spirit filled” Camping Trip
April 24-26, 2015
In The News
 Pope Francis speech at the conclusion of the Synod
 Biloxi’s retired bishop has been eyewitness to racial division, healing
 Houston carries out ‘witch hunt’ on pastors opposing ‘bathroom bill’
 Faith leads to generous love, not fake facades, hypocrisy, pope says
 St. Louis archbishop calls for nonviolent response to racism
 Synod: the Holy See Press Office has published the “Relatio post disceptationem” of the General Rapporteur, Card. Péter Erd?, October 13, 2014.
 Sr. Antona Ebo recalls her ‘march on Selma’ in ’65
 Archdiocese says St. Peter Claver Center will close
 Exorcism Performed By Catholic Archbishop After Black Mass In Oklahoma
 Lykehouse marks a decade and a half of ministry to AUC students
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Black Catholic Young Adults

Empty Shell Marriages

Susanna PetersSociology textbooks define Empty Shell Marriages as: A marriage in name only, where a couple continues to live under the same roof but as separate individuals. It may occur where divorce is difficult for legal, religious or financial reasons, or where a couple decides to stay together for the sake of the children. http://quizlet.com/23232113/aqa-as-sociology-key-conceptsdefinitions-families-and-households-flash-cards/

Article Index
Domestic Violence and Abuse
There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. Click for full story
Empty Shell Marriages
Sociology textbooks define Empty Shell Marriages as: A marriage in name only, where a couple continues to live under the same roof but as separate individuals. Click for full story
Must See Sermon
In this Young Adult Service, the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, a Baptist minister from Alexandria, Virginia, challenges the young and young at heart to explore their trust in God by showing how God reveals himself. Click for full story
Sunday Prayer for Teens 2014-2015
Sunday Prayer for Teens provides a great way to support a teenager’s prayer life throughout the year in a cost-effective manner. Click for full story
Dying to Self
What does it look like to be crucified with Christ? What does it mean that “I no longer live?” How do I deny myself? Click for full story
Shining her Light: Proud Young Women, Black & Yes, Catholic!
In honor of Black Catholic History Month, 13 year old Vanessa was asked by her churches BCHM Committee to share with her Parish what it means to her to be Black and Catholic. Click for full story
Vocation, a Journey to Conversion
A reflection written by Fr. Davis when he was a deacon. He was ordained to the priesthood June 2013 in New York. Click link for full story
Online Resources for Teens: lifeteen.com
Check out the these resources for teens concerning alcohol, sex, living a pure life and more Click link for full story
Examination of Conscience
Every day we must examine our reflections and take account for the mark we have left on the world. Click link for full story
The Time has Come
On June 1, 2013, seven young men of the Josephite Fathers and Brothers religious community were ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC in what was both a festive and holy occasion. Click link for full story
The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) 2013
From November 21st through November 23rd, the young Catholic church of the United States will gather in Indianapolis, Indiana to play, pray, and praise as only they know how at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). Click link for full story
The Road to Youth Ministry: Discerning God’s Call
Ministry discernment begins with a call received at baptism. This call comes from God to every baptized Christian. Some folks would like to think that God dialed the wrong number and couldn’t possibly be calling them. They are wrong. God calls all of us to mission and ministry. Click link for full story
Is Waiting Worth It?
The boundary for sex is marriage. God instructs us to wait to express our physical sexuality with another human being. He knows the power of it and knows that the best place for it to be expressed is inside of marriage. When sex happens inside of marriage it acts as a bond that keeps two people together, for life. Click link for full story
My Reflections on the National Black Catholic Congress XI
I have attended Congresses in the past as a youth. But now as a young adult, I believe I learned more from the experience. Perhaps now, as I am developing my own relationship with God, I was able to comprehend the various topics discussed in a deeper manner. Click link for full story
Reflections on Keeping Young Adults in the Catholic Church
I see the kids and teens in my own church and while they may not be on fire with their faith yet, I see that spark that will soon ignite and want so much for them to keep that spark ignited. I want them to join their church committees, be a true member. I want them to stay with their faith and profess to the world that yes we are black, we are Catholic and we are just as on fire with our faith as other Christians. Click link for full story
Words from YOUTH that attended the NBCC (National Black Catholic Congress)
Reflections from YOUTH that attended the NBCC (National Black Catholic Congress) with pictures. Click link for full story
The Princess Within: 3 Steps to Realizing Your True Identity
The attack on our feminine souls can be strong and relentless. The war on our identity can seem like a never-ending nightmare. Where can you turn to find relief? Where can you go to find the answers to who you really are? How can you begin to realize that you are beautiful and perfect, a true princess? Click link for full story
The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction
The more we learn, the better we may be able to understand the abilities and vulnerabilities of teens, and the significance of this stage for life-long mental health. Click link for full story

Empty shell marriages have no life inside them-only the outside shell remains. Shells can appear pretty-even when they are empty. Sadly, too many marriages end up in this state after a few years.

One of the first signs of an empty shell marriage is a loss of respect for each other. Some spouses are careful not to verbalize this disrespect. Yet, we all know intuitively whether someone respects us or not.

Communication is the next thing to seep out of the shell. Most often, these couples choose not to share their emotions or their daily struggles with each other. And when they do communicate, it is usually combative or manipulative.

Apathy sets in. Each spouse turns to his/her own separate interests, hobbies, careers, and friends. Personal advancement takes precedence over the spiritual and emotional well-being of the other spouse.

In his book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck defines love as: “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” I found this concept interesting: Love as an investment of myself in order to promote the spiritual health of others.

When we think of a loveless marriage, we expect it to be devoid of passion, intimacy, and mutual interests. We expect the couple to have separate lives, while still residing under the same roof. However, we fail to recognize the early warning signs. We don’t notice the slow seepage of respect, empathy, and transparency. We fail to predict the long term consequences of spiritual stagnation.

Unfortunately, most of us expect that all marriages will deteriorate into lifeless, loveless, empty shells over time. However, I have witnessed marriages that are still thriving even into their third and fourth decades.

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