back to the National Black Catholic Congress : Home Page THE NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS
The Black Catholic Monthly | African Americans | Catholic News Black Catholic Congress: "We hold ourselves accountable to our baptismal 
    commitment to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ"
NBCC
Calendar Of Events Calendar Congress X Media Center  Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News      Contact Us Contact Us
NBCC
NBCC
To Black Catholic Monthly Home Page

Featured Article: Reflections on Race in America Today - I grew up in the Deep South, at a time of even deeper segregation, a convenient term used to describe the complete separation of the races. It defined every aspect of our lives, where we lived, worked or went to school, and, especially, where we worshiped. (Martin Luther King, quipped, that Sunday morning church services were the most segregated hours.) For families venturing out for entertainment or recreation it meant figuring out what was opened to us, and staying away from those that were restricted. We were cautioned at an early age to not cross those boundaries. Read Full Story

NBCC STRUCTURE
 African American Catholic Bishops
 Congress Directory
 Board of Trustees
 NBCC Staff
Parish Search
 Find a Parish in your State
Black Catholic Newsletter
 Reflections on Race in America Today
 Bishop Says Groundswell Of Interest, Excitement Needed In Father Tolton’s Sainthood Cause
 Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus resource
 The Three Movements in God's Word!
 Dying to Self
 What is Depression?
Special Report
 The Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Activities
Publications
 Book Of The Month:
The Way of the Cross
 Author Of The Month:
Thomas Keating
NBCC Spotlight
 Faith STILL Engaged
Employment Opportunities
 Program Manager II
 Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
Upcoming Events
 Sankofa: Lenten Day Of Reflection
March 8, 2014
 Lenten Revival “Marching to Victory”
March 10-12, 2014
 “Walking with the Saints” - A Symposium of Black Catholics, Their Concerns and Journey to Sainthood
March 14-16, 2014
 7th Annual Youth & Young Adult Revival
March 16, 2014
 “Get Your Head In the Game” Young Adult Retreat
March 21-23, 2014
 Lenten Parrish Mission - Annual Lenten Church Revival
March 24-26, 2014
 “A Call to Duty” Youth Retreat
March 29, 2014
 Habari Gani #6
April 4-6, 2014
 Sight & Sounds Present “The Story of Moses”
April 9, 2014
 Unity Explosion - Region X 2014 - Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
November 23, 2013
 
In The News
 Pope to engaged couples: After ‘I do,’ comes ‘may I, thank you, sorry’
 Planned Parenthood agrees to pay $2 million in fatal abortion procedure
 Atheist And Muslim Presidential Candidates Face The Most Bias
 Israelis look forward to Pope’s Holy Land visit, rabbi says
 Canon Law Society of America
NBCC Media
  Visit the NBCC Media Center
  Listen Live to Vatican Radio
requires Real Audio)
RECOMMENDED SITES
 Site Links

NBCC Featured Article

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Article Index

View Featured
Article Index

Become a Friend of the National Black Catholic Congress

Pastoral Letter: "What We Have Seen and Heard" Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion

The Experience of God's Presence

The Basics of Being Married in the Catholic Church

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Reading as a Subversive Act: Libraries as the Guide to Liberation

Son, They Have No Wine! Reflections on the Importance of Devotion to Mary

Tenth National Black Catholic Congress

Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change

Catholic Campus Ministry

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part I)

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part II)

His Greatest Gift

Joannes Paulus II, Magnus

Lent to Easter: Preparation for Celebration

Mary - Mother, Woman, Disciple

Research That Matters

Silent No More: A Major Crisis in the African-American Community

The Best Kept Secret

The Food Crisis in Niger

The Passion of Mel Gibson's "Passion"

To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

View Featured
Article Index

As I write this article, I am contemplating a journey that I will soon make to Washington, DC. It is a journey that I have made every year save one since 1991. Over the years I have gone with seminarians as a seminarian, with parishioners as a parish priest, with college students as a Newman chaplain, and now with high school students as a principal. The journey to which I refer is to the Right-to-Life Mass and Rally held in the nation's capital every year on January 21 and 22, to protest the most tragic of all Supreme Court decisions ever rendered, Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in our nation.

Comment on Featured Articles in the forum

Each year the trip is a unique experience. As I have frequently emphasized with all participants, it is a pilgrimage, a journey of prayer and penance, whose ultimate purpose is to invoke the power of God to remove the scourge of legalized abortion from our land. This year the trip is especially unique because it literally comes on the heels of one of the most historically symbolic events our nation has witnessed, the inauguration of the first African-American as president of the United States of America.

And thus it is that I contemplate these two phenomena, as indeed others have, some of whose reflections have previously appeared in this newspaper. My reflections come from the perspective of an African American priest who has spent the last seventeen years working to bring African-Americans into the pro-life movement with a firm conviction that the Black community, with its unique history in America and its traditional value system, has the potential to turn the pro-abortion tide and to make America a truly pro-life country. However, the road to that particular destination is still a long and difficult one and achieving that goal will only come with perseverance, prayer, and spiritual reparation.

Why is that? To answer this question, I will attempt to express what my experience has led me to see as being the great divide, some might say chasm, that exists between the pro-life and the African American communities. The division is not based on a fundamental disagreement about the immorality and tragedy of abortion-I say this based on the responses of hundreds of African Americans who have attended pro-life conferences that my religious community has sponsored-no, the divide is at another level, a much deeper and more complex level. To this day, there is a fundamental inability for these two groups to communicate effectively with each other due to an inability to understand different sets of assumptions. Thus there exists lasting misunderstanding, frustration, and sadly mistrust.

Can the divide be overcome? I truly believe that it can, and have worked with many of both races who are committed to accomplishing this task. I believe that the key to building a bridge between the two groups lies in a mutual attempt to understand each other, to enter into the other's experience as deeply as possible, and to discover a basis for mutual respect and common ground. I would now like to offer a few examples to illustrate my point.

The election of Barack Obama has become a touchstone in reference to this problem and I think using it as an example can help us move forward. What to one group is seen as the God-given answer to prayers of many generations is seen by the other as apocalyptic disaster. Can there be a meeting of the minds between such diverse and opposite positions? It can be done, but only by genuinely entering into the other's experience.

Consider this. Lately, local public television in my home town has been running several shows about New Orleans, "the way it was." For many, these are great opportunities for nostalgia and pining for the "good ol' days!" But does everyone experience those days in the same manner? For example, I was born in 1967. I went to integrated public schools and then to the Josephite-run St. Augustine High School. I chose to go to St. Aug because I wanted to attend the best high school in New Orleans, not because it was the only option I had as an African-American male! I had opportunities in New Orleans that my parents, and certainly my grandparents, never had. I remember them describing how different and difficult things were back in "the good ol' days," and honestly, I didn't fully understand or appreciate their experiences until I grew up.

to top of page

 

[ 1 ] | [ 2 ] | [ 3 ] | [ 4 ] | [ 5 ]

 (Continued)
Next page


Subscribe to the Black Catholic Newsletter
NBCC
NBCC

Web Design : Web Marketing : Web Management : Baltimore Maryland - SLEEPER Technologies
 
An STI Site | Web Design by SLEEPER Technologies
Copyright 2003 www.nbccongress.org | All Rights Reserved | Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without the expressed written permission of www.nbccongress.org is prohibited.