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
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
NBCC
To Black Catholic Monthly Home Page

Featured Article: New Bible Is Designed Specifically for Young Black Catholics - In January Saint Mary’s Press will publish The African American Catholic Youth Bible®, the first Bible designed specifically for use by young black Catholics in the US. It has taken five years for the initial concept to become a reality. In 2009 John Vitek, president of Saint Mary’s Press, talked with Bishop John Ricard, president of the National Black Catholic Congress. 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
 New Bible Is Designed Specifically for Young Black Catholics
 What Is So “New” About the New Evangelization?
 The miracle of the Eucharist in Santarem, Portugal
 $25,000 George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize to be Launched
 NETWORK Associate Program
 Lessons for Loving
Publications
 Book Of The Month:
The African American Catholic Youth Bible
 Author Of The Month:
Pope Francis
NBCC Spotlight
 NBCC awards $95,000 to 12 Organizations!
Upcoming Events
 “2015 Keep the Dream Alive” Mass and Awards Ceremony
January 9, 2015
 Martin Luther King Breakfast
January 17, 2015
 Archdiocese of Washington Annual Mass to celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 17, 2015
 St. Raymond and St. Leo The Great Women’ Conference 2015 “Irresistible Call”
January 17-18, 2015
 National Prayer Vigil for Life
January 21, 2015
 Youth Rally and Mass for Life
January 22, 2015
 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering 2015
February 7-10, 2015
In The News
 Bishop: Catholics should ‘rekindle’ commitment to end racism
 US Catholic theologians call for Police reforms and racial justice in America
 Dear U.S. Catholic Theologians: Lives of Black Women & Girls Always Matter
 Vatican report calls U.S. women religious to continued dialogue
 Diverse A.C. church plans fight to stay open
 Pope: Missing something in your spiritual life? It’s probably love
 What the CIA’s torture apologists could learn from the Catholic Church
 Diocesan black advisory board; Leaders of the New Evangelization
 Injustice in Ferguson
NBCC Media
  Visit the NBCC Media Center
  Listen Live to Vatican Radio
requires Real Audio)
RECOMMENDED SITES
 Site Links

NBCC Featured Article

SON, THEY HAVE NO WINE!
Reflections on the Importance of Devotion to Mary

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

There is a growing trend in some Catholic institutions/communities that should be a cause for alarm to anyone entrusted with the care of souls and particularly with the spiritual formation of the youth. This trend is the ever lessening focus on the role of Mary in the faith journey of the disciples of Jesus. Traditional Marian prayers and devotions too frequently become the exclusive domain of the elders of the community who were formed in a different generation, as if the younger members of the faith community had no need to develop an intimate relationship with the Mother of Jesus. Consequently, the benefits of Marian devotion are lost to those who, often through no fault of their own, simply don't know Our Lady well enough and don't hear about her often enough to appreciate the richness she can bring to their relationship with her son.

Whereas this lack of Marian devotion used to be a primary characteristic of Protestant Christians, whose architects purposely minimized and in some cases rejected the role of Mary based on their own theological and liturgical reconstruction of Christian faith and worship, it now sadly characterizes many communities that identify themselves as Catholic and for some reason or other have simply cast Mary to the side. Usually this has not been done with great fanfare, or even animosity, it has been generally been done through inattention and neglect, or misguided cultural emphasis.

One hears phrases such as "I am not 'in' to Mary," or "The rosary is not my thing." Some go so far as to say that Marian devotions are "Eurocentric" and not suitable for Catholics of African descent, or at least not for African-American Catholics. This, of course, is absurd since Marian devotion in the Church has its origins not in Western Europe, but in the ancient Churches of the east, e.g. Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, and Jerusalem, to name a few. The Church of Rome was an integral part of the affairs of the ancient Churches and was recognized as the Mother of all Churches, but the entire ancient Church embraced the Mother of Jesus in obedience to him, "Son behold your Mother," and in imitation of the beloved disciple who "took her into his own home" (Jn 19:27).

It is true that many of the more popular Marian devotions that have been handed down to us in recent generations have been marked by a western stamp, but it is also interesting that some of the most powerful expressions of these devotions today can be found in non-western cultures, particularly in the Catholic cultures of Africa and Asia. The trans-cultural dimension of these devotions continues to shape the faith experience of Catholics around the globe; so much can still be said in support of fostering them.

It is important to understand why devotion to Mary is so important, for lack of knowledge often leads to these unhappy circumstances described above. One way to approach this is to look to Sacred Scripture to see what can be learned about the role of Mary in the life of Jesus and how her role is continued in the life of his disciples in the Church. One very beautiful and illuminative event in Scripture is found in the Gospel according to St. John, Chapter 2, verses 1- 12, the Wedding Feast at Cana.

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."

Weddings are huge celebrations in our culture. Think about the time spent in preparing for them. But they were even greater celebrations in Jesus' culture, as can still be seen in other non-western cultures today. The celebration often lasted for two weeks or so. Hence the preparation for these events was more intense. Keep in mind that there was no corner store to run to at the last minute if something was forgotten or overlooked! Guests traveled long distances and had to be fed several times a day for the duration of the celebration. There were no hotels either, maybe an Inn or two, and we know that these frequently had no room!

Jesus, Mary, and the disciples were going to share in the couple's joy, and as often happens something went wrong, they ran out of wine. Is this a big deal? Does it really matter? Place yourselves in the family's situation. Have you ever run out of anything that was expected to be provided? Have you ever been caught in a bind? Move beyond wedding celebrations. Have you ever had the experience of not having what you needed when you needed it, or of not being what you needed to be in order to accomplish a task? I suspect that we have all "run out of wine" in that sense. The experience can be embarrassing or even humiliating. It can cause great hardship to us or to those who depend on us. It can make us feel helpless and abandoned. Running out of wine is a difficult thing indeed and it happened at this feast.

to top of page

 

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

 (Continued)
Next page


Subscribe to the Black Catholic Newsletter
NBCC
Black Catholic Calendar Calendar Of Events Subscribe to "The Black Catholic Monthly" Newsletter News       NBCC Forum NBCC Forum Contact Us Contact Us
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.