The National Black Catholic Congress, Inc.

Calendar of Events​​

April 2017

​NCEA 2017 Convention & Expo
America’s Center , St. Louis, MO. Convention is held in partnership with the Catholic Library Association (CLA), and is a time to celebrate, to acquire new knowledge, and to renew your spirit. NCEA 2017 is just the place for that to happen to you! Visit for more information.


Black Catholics: What's Our Future?
Lecture speaker is Darren W. Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Social Research, and Lilly Presidential Fellow, The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Event begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion Auditorium at Xavier University of Louisiana - 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, LA. For more information, call the Institute for Black Catholic Studies office 504-520-7691. There will be a reception following the lecture.

The National Black Catholic Men's Conference will be held in Miami, Florida, from October 5-8, 2017. The theme of this year's conference is: "The Challenge is to Silence the Mind." Register at: The cost is $150.00 for adults, $75.00 for College and High School Students, and $50.00 for youth ages 8-13.

​More information is available by contacting Fr. Chester 

For more information about the Congress XII schedule and programs, click the button below.

A Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Photo by George Martell, courtesy of Flickr


Thursday, 10/5 through Sunday, 10/8/17
The National Black Catholic Men's Conference 2017 

Adult Early Meeting Registration . . . . . . $350.00
Adult Meeting Registration . . . . . . . . . . . $375.00

Youth Group Discount Registration . . . . $195.00
            (Ages 14-17, groups of 15 or more youths)
Early Youth Meeting Registration . . . . . .$225.00

(Ages 14-17, individual registrations or groups of 14 or less)

Youth Meeting Registration . . . . . . . . . . .$250.00

 Early Registration Cut-Off Date is April 21, 2017

9801 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819

The NBCC wishes you and your family a most blessed and joyful Easter.

The National Black Catholic Congress | 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201 | 410-547-8496
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Smith at or 317-259-0144. Or visit:

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Easter Video Resources

"Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said, "Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

The Paschal Triduum: A Christian journey to Easter

THURSDAY, APRIL 13 and FRIDAY, APRIL 14 and SATURDAY, APRIL 15: Holy Week began several days ago with Palm Sunday, but this week’s events start to culminate with Holy Thursday and the launch of a trio of days known as the Paschal Triduum. For three days, Christians will perform centuries-old rituals and review the final events in the life of Jesus. From foot washing to the Stations of the Cross, Christians will lament the tragic events of Jesus’ final days; with prayer and fasting, the faithful will prepare for the most joyous holiday of the year: Easter (or Pascha), the Resurrection of Christ.

Note: This year, both Eastern and Western Christians will celebrate Easter (or, as it is known as in Eastern Christianity, Pascha) on Sunday, April 16.

News on Pope Francis and Holy Week: According to news reports, Pope Francis is slated to conduct a Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday; later, Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper with the traditional washing of feet; and he will preside over an afternoon liturgy commemorating the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday. Later that night, he will pray the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, with thousands at the Colosseum. The following night, Holy Saturday, Francis is scheduled to celebrate the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica; on Easter Sunday, he will hold a public Mass in St. Peter’s Square at 10 a.m. and, immediately following, will give his Urbi et Orbi blessing—“to the city and to the world.”

The Paschal Triduum is initiated with Maundy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week. Alternatively known as Holy Thursday or Covenant Thursday, this day commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles.

Some scholars believe that the name “Maundy Thursday” derived from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase stated by Jesus to describe the purpose for his washing their feet. (“A new commandment I give to unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”) In some churches, to this day, clergy ceremonially wash the feet of 12 persons as part of Maundy Thursday services. Following the Maundy Thursday service, in most Christian denominations, the altar is “stripped” in solemn fashion in preparation for Good Friday.

Today, even outside of the church building, global traditions for Maundy Thursday are varied and colorful. In the United Kingdom, the Monarch offers Maundy money to worthy elders; in Bulgaria, Easter eggs are colored and homes are prepared for the upcoming holy days. Holy Thursday is a public holiday in many Christian countries.

At the conclusion of Maundy Thursday services, the attitude in the Church becomes somber, dark and mournful. Church bells fall silent until Easter.


While in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night, Christian tradition says that Jesus was located by the Romans—led by Judas Iscariot—and arrested. This led to interrogation, torture and, eventually, to Jesus’ death by the horrific Roman method of crucifixion. In the Catholic Church, Good Friday is a fast day of the deepest solemnity. The altar is bare, vestments are red or black and the cross is venerated.

In many parishes, the Stations of the Cross recount Jesus’ journey to the site of the crucifixion. In countries such as Malta, Italy, the Philippines and Spain, processions carry statues of the Passion of Christ. In Britain, Australia and Canada, hot cross buns are traditionally consumed on Good Friday.

Check local news reports in your part of the world: In the U.S., each year, more groups of churches in cities and rural areas are planning annual processions of the cross.


Holy Saturday, or Black Saturday, ushers in with the darkness of Good Friday, commemorating the day that Jesus’ body lay in the tomb. Traditionally, the altar remains bare or is draped in a simple black cloth. In Catholic parishes, the administration of sacraments is limited. Holy Saturday is a time of suspense, quiet and solemnity, as Christians continue to mourn the death of Jesus Christ. In Catholic tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows is given the title Our Lady of Solitude, for her grief at the earthly absence of her son, Jesus.

THE EASTER VIGIL—At approximately 6 p.m. on Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil begins. A service that begins in darkness is illuminated, in Christian tradition, with the Light of Christ—the Paschal candle. After prayers, chants and biblical readings, “Gloria” is sung for the first time since Maundy Thursday. The church is flooded with light, statues covered during Passiontide are unveiled and the joy of the Resurrection begins. The Paschal candle, the largest and most exquisite candle in the church, is lit each day throughout the Paschal season.

Pope Francis' Easter Message

A Good Friday procession in Malta. Photo by Antonio Caselli, courtesy of Flickr


Due to overwhelming response, early-bird prices will now end on April 21, 2017!

Want to reach 2,000 to 3,000 Black Catholics?  Advertise in the Congress XII Program Book!

Download, complete, and return the form above, along with a check made payable to the NBCC, to reserve your ad space.

HABARI GANI X High School Retreat
Fri Apr 28th 9:00am - Sun 30th 9:00am
St. Augustine Retreat Center, 510 N 2nd St, Bay St Louis, MS 39520, The Archdiocese of New Orleans is sponsoring Habari Gani X High School Retreat at the St. Augustine Retreat Center in Bay St. Louis, MS. The cost is $140/person which covers food, lodging, supplies, and transportation for the weekend to and from New Orleans. Registration forms and money are due to the CYO office by April 6, 2017. The retreat is designed for current Freshmen to Juniors in High School, and is designed to build strong leadership skills that can be used in the community and church, instill and build self-esteem and self-worth, reinforce your call as disciples and people of faith, and attain all of these goals from a black spiritual perspective.
Join in the fun, food, games, leadership training and more! For more information contact Dr. Ansel Augustine:, phone: 504-861-6207.

Hotel Room Fees:

NBCC Room Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$125.00

Per day, DOES NOT include taxes & fees


       Join bishops, priests, and your fellow Catholic lay men and women, as we listen to dynamic speakers
​   and presenters, and explore strategies for deepening our faith, and evangelizing our brothers and sisters who do not belong to the fold. There will be workshops, and opportunities for individual prayer and sharing your faith with others from all parts of the country.

An Introduction to Holy Week
What is it and how is it celebrated?

Dates: Holy Week is the last week of Lent.

Colors: In most churches, the decorations are red to
symbolize the blood of martyrdom. Some churches
remove all decorations on Good Friday, veiling
anything that can’t be removed in black or purple.
Holy water is also removed from the fonts in
churches on Good Friday and Holy Saturday in
preparation for the blessing of the water at the Easter
Vigil. This removal also corresponds to those days
​on which the Eucharist is not celebrated.

Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday) 
Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday) 
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
The time from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter
Day is also known as the Triduum, which is Latin for “three days.”

Some History:
Holy Week observances began in Jerusalem in the earliest days of
the Church, when devout people traveled to Jerusalem at Passover
to reenact the events of the week leading up to the Resurrection.

Egeria was a Christian who traveled widely during the period
of 381-385 and wrote about Christian customs and observances in
Egypt, Palestine, and Asia Minor. She described how religious
tourists to Jerusalem reenacted the events of Holy Week. On

Palm Sunday afternoon, the crowds waved palm fronds as they made a procession from the Mount of Olives into the city. Of
​course, the observances must have begun quite a number of years before Egeria witnessed them, or they wouldn’t have been so elaborate. It’s just that Egeria’s description is the earliest we still have. The tourists took the customs home with them. Holy week observances spread to Spain by the fifth century, to Gaul and England by the early seventh century. They didn’t spread to
​Rome until the twelfth century. The purpose of Holy Week is to reenact, relive, and participate in the passion of Jesus Christ.
​Read more:

Holy Thursday in the Eastern Christian Church. Photo by Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy, courtesy of Flickr

Registration includes admission to all General Sessions at the four-day conference, including inspirational messages from much sought-after speakers; workshops and activities presented by leading experts in their fields of study; the opportunity to interact with bishops, priests, deacons, and members of religious communities; the opportunity to network with Black Catholics from across the United States; complimentary daily continental breakfast; lunch provided on Friday; exhibits and merchandise geared to the interests of NBCC constituents; daily Eucharistic Liturgy, including transportation to the beautiful Basilica of the Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe for Mass on opening day; and, accommodations steps away from world-class attractions ​and entertainment.