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Featured Article: We joyfully announce the ‘Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Ministries’ - The Daniel Rudd Fund (DRF) for African American Catholic Activities was established by the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) Board of Trustees on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a result of donations to the Congress to promote the ministry of African American Catholics. The Fund will financially support organizations who promote the NBCC Pastoral Plan. Read Full Story

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 We joyfully announce the ‘Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Ministries’
 “Influential” Ugandan Nun Shines Light on Sacred Tradition of Black Catholic Women
 The Death Penalty: It’s Adverse Impact on Communities of Color and The Poor, and Challenges to the Catholic Church
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 Black Catholic Young Adults

Why Go To Confession?

A person once asked about the need for the sacrament of confession when we can easily confess our sins directly to God. While there is some truth to this, there is something else that needs to be considered. Whenever we sin, our first response should be an immediate appeal to God for mercy and forgiveness. Repentance should be a regular part of the life of every human being, especially a believer. God is omniscient. Even when we repent in the secret of our heart, we are not telling Him anything that He doesn't already know. Rather, we are acknowledging our sin and taking responsibility for our actions and their consequences. The question that remains is whether or not this private, one to one conversation with God is enough. God does not need our repentance, we do. So God's gift of the forgiveness of sins is tailored to meet our needs.

One thing we should note is that human beings live in community and our actions affect others for good or for evil. So sin-even sin committed in private-is not a purely private matter. All of our actions have a communitarian dimension. That means our reconciliation after sin must somehow involve the community. The Sacrament of Penance provides that necessary link between the commission of sin by the individual and the reconciliation of the sinner with God and the community of believers, especially in cases involving serious or mortal sins, which require the influx of sacramental grace for forgiveness.

Did you ever notice that people usually don't question the communitarian dimensions of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders, or even Anointing of the Sick? But they always seem to question the need for an instrument, a human mediator, in the Sacrament of Penance! Why? Because confessing one's sins to another human being is difficult. It is often embarrassing. But that is part of the power of sacramental reconciliation. It makes one honest and humble before God through a human instrument-little chance for self-deception here!

The question still remains about the necessity of going to confession. Well, what does the Bible say? In St. Mark's Gospel (2:5-12), the Pharisees criticize Jesus for forgiving a man's sins. To prove that He has this authority, Jesus cures the man. The Pharisees couldn't bear the thought of a man acting as if He were God! They didn't know that Jesus was also God. As God, Jesus is unlimited in power and in St. Matthew's Gospel He shares His power and authority with His Church through St. Peter, who was just a man!

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Mt. 16:16-19).

Finally in St. John's Gospel (20:21-23), Jesus explicitly gives the disciples the Holy Spirit and the authority to forgive sins:

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Jesus gave this power to His disciples and the Church continues to make it present to the People of God. Our response to this gift should first be one of gratitude. Then we should be motivated to examine our consciences, confess our sins, be reconciled to God and our brothers and sister and discover the joy of living in God's mercy.

Article Index
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

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