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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

NBCC STRUCTURE
 African American Catholic Bishops
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Parish Search
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Black Catholic Newsletter
 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
Publications
 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
Upcoming Events
 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

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
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

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