Bishop Edward Braxton issues a Pastoral Reflection on the recent mass shootings 

​​by NBCC Staff

Help support NBCC programs

From a Black Catholic perspective and

experience, the cultivation of a positive parish environment happens when our unique cultural experiences are widely celebrated as essential to realization of the universality of the Body of Christ.

Most Glorious God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we pray for our Bishop,


May he and all of the bishops, in union with the Holy Father, remain steadfast in defending the Catholic Church from the moral errors of our day. Help them speak boldly against all who have tried to corrupt the Church and those who have spread the contagion of the world amongst your flock. Give them strength to oppose, with great vigor, the terrible abuses which have wounded and scandalized the faithful. May our apostolic shepherds proclaim, with a unified and prophetic voice, the truth about the dignity of each human life, the sanctity of sacramental marriage, the blessing of life-giving conjugal love, and all issues that the Church has championed throughout the centuries. Strengthen them to preach with fiery conviction against all forms of abuse, corruption and perversion. May they lead your church to healing and reform through transparency and fidelity. With unwavering courage, may they imitate Christ, and lay down their lives for their sheep. Keep them faithful to the end, like so many holy saints and martyrs of the Church, who have shepherded the people of God with crosier in hand. O Mary, Virgin Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, hold all bishops close to your Immaculate Heart! Amen.

- Pedro de la Cruz © 2018

USCCB Pastoral Letter on Racism was approved on November 14, 2018. The full text of the letter can be downloaded by clicking on the image to the right.  For resources for parishes and schools published by the USCCB to accompany the Pastoral Letter, click here.

Source of All Hope Missionary Program

will launch on August 15, 2019

On this date, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we will do what God asked - start a missionary program in Baltimore. We will say YES! In just a few weeks, we will launch the Source Mission Center - situated literally feet behind the first cathedral in the United States. On this groundbreaking day, at least two young men will move in. They will give up a year of job and schooling to live a radical life of prayer and then bring the light of Christ to the people of Baltimore - the poorest of the poor.

A Prayer for All Bishops

The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D., has issued a Pastoral Reflection titled, "A National Crisis: A Pastoral Reflection on the Deadly Epidemic of Gun Violence in the United States."

The Immaculate
Heart OF Mary

Click the image above to download the PDF version.

Posted: August 16, 2019

Coordinator, Testing

and Tutoring Services

Please apply online: 

Franciscan University Staff Positions

This position assists the Director of Student Academic Support Services (SASS) in all phases of department programming both on-ground and online, including testing services, tutoring, academic skills, peer mentoring, and disability services.

Position Reports to: 

Director, Student Academic Support Services

Student Academic Support Services

Full-time; Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., some evening and weekend hours required

Join Gloria Purvis,

Deacon Harold

Burke-Sivers and

Msgr. Charles Pope

weekday mornings

on EWTN's

Morning Glory

A panel of nationally recognized leaders will discuss how to create and foster constructive conversations about race and prejudice in Catholic schools, churches, homes and communities.  In a time of heated secular politics, tragic current events and a backdrop of historical prejudice, the panel will share practical insights drawing from the best of  the Catholic Social Thought tradition.  This conversation aims to build capacity among Catholic school and pastoral leaders to lead conversations about racism and other biases.  Participants are invited to ask questions.  We look forward to a very active conversation.

Register to view the 1 hour 15 minute webinar by clicking here.

USCCBClips Podcast: Episode 20 - Open Wide Our Hearts- The Pastoral Letter Against Racism, With Danielle Brown, listen by clicking here.

Most Reverend William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, issued a statement for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The full text can be downloaded by clicking the image to the left.

MAY 29, 2019


How to Disrupt Racism

Presented by:

Donna Grimes

The Archdiocese of Boston
has two open positions in the

Family Life/Ecclesial Movements 

For the full time position as a Family Life Consultant, please click here.  The role involves coordinating marriage prep weekends, planning special events like the Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral, and serving in other ecclesial/sacramental/family initiatives. A theology degree and ministry background is a requirement for the position.  Pls email Director Liz Cotrupi at for more information!

For the part time (16/hr-wk) position as an Operations Associate in the Family Life Team, please click here.  A strong background in Word, Excel, and database/registration/website experience is key, along with a flexible schedule for some occasional ministry help. Please email Director Liz Cotrupi for more information at

Cultural Diversity in the Catholic Church in the United States

The Cara Report created for the USCCB contains statistical information about the different minorities in the Catholic Church.

Click image below to download.

"Give the Greatest Gift of All,

A Little of Your Time"


Click on the reading for each day

to access the entire entry.

See Heaven and Earth Collide
We might understand, on an intellectual level, why the Mass is so important. But do we really know what worship itself is—or why we need it in our lives?

The Mass: An Introduction video series is a perfect way to learn why the Eucharistic celebration is the center of Catholic life. Click below to watch the trailer now!

The USCCB Office of Human Resources

is recruiting to fill the position of

Grants Specialist for National Collections - Church in Africa

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a non-profit organization located in Washington, DC, currently has a vacancy in the Office of National Collections- Church in Africa. The position is a full-time position and eligible for benefits: Medical, Prescription, Dental, Vision, SmartBenefits, PTO, 40(3) retirement plan and more. Salary Rangeclick apply For more information please visit our career site at: Assists the Associate Director in the review and evaluation of grant applications to be presented for the consideration of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa; employs software to organize and track grant documentation and generate reports; helps review grantee reports and ensure accountability and effectiveness in the use of funds.

Requirements Bachelor's Degree required. Major Fields in International Affairs, African Studies, Business, or equivalent (preferred). Minimum of 3-5 years of related experience. Fluency in French highly preferred; Portuguese helpful.

Apply here.

September 2019

September 13 - 15, 2019

Tolton Pilgrimage: from Birth to Burial

Chicago, IL - Quincy, IL - Brush Creek, MO
Visit the birth and burial place of Fr. Augustus Tolton. Please join the Postulator of the Cause, Bishop Joseph N. Perry, who will be the primary spiritual director of our pilgrimage. The journey as a group starts with a train ride from Chicago, IL to Quincy, IL where the group will travel to different sites that were significant in Father Tolton's life of service to the Church. The estimated Cost of the Pilgrimage: Approximate total cost is $512.00. The price of train tickets and accommodations are subject to change - see
Registration: Please send name, contact phone number and email address via regular mail (USPS) to:
Bishop Joseph Perry
Cardinal Meyer Center, 3526 South Lake Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60653
Individuals can also register by calling 312-534-8376

September 21, 2019 - 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

OPEN WIDE OUR HEARTS: An Encounter of Grace and Race

Archbishop Fiorenza Symposium
Keynote Speakers: Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Chair, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; Danielle Brown, Associate Director, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism
Cost: $20.00 General Admission; $10.00 for Students
Register at
Last day to register: September 6, 2019
For more info. Contact: or 715.942.5066

Employment Opportunities

Bereavement Support

  • Memorial Service
  • Funeral Home visitation
  • Grief companion
  • Grief support groups

Administrative Support

  • Mailings and other clerical tasks
  • Sewing, crafts or other special projects
  • Hospice Foundation donation processing

​Training and Ongoing Support Provided

Contact Us Today: Volunteer Department


​​Annabelle Moseley | Aleteia

What the month of August means to Catholics and how to honor it in your home.Did you know that in the Catholic Church, each of the 12 months of the year has a devotional theme? August is the beautiful month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Continuing our series on ways to showcase each month’s Catholic theme in your life, here are 10 ways you can more closely align your life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

​Wear the Miraculous Medal for the entire month

Wear the Miraculous Medal for the entire month

This is one devotion that may just stick around even after the month is over! The back of the Miraculous Medal depicts Mary’s Immaculate Heart, pierced by a sword. If you don’t have a medal, it’s a great time to get one and have it blessed, or get one for a family member or friend. Wear as an act of great devotion and a testimony to the power of prayer. Read more...

Gala Inspires Enthusiasm to End Domestic Violence

The Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach held its third Gala Benefit on March 29, 2019 at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst. And what an exciting evening it was! An enthusiastic crowd of 271 enjoyed a beautifully decorated venue, a delicious meal, attractive raffle and silent auction items, and an engaging program. Phil Andrew, the Director of Cardinal Cupich's Violence Prevention Initiatives, inspired attendees with his personal story and his ministry to curb violence. See more...


New Testament

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant. 

Calendar of Events​​

$29.95  SKU: R681DF

Order your exclusive NBCC Black Madonna and Child Rosary

​now from

Understanding Our Faith

Remember to Apply for the Daniel Rudd Fund!

The 2019 Grant Cycle is now open.

Closing date for applications is September 1, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET

To learn more, go to the Daniel Rudd webpage: https://www.nbccongress/daniel-rudd-fund.html

To apply, click here.

The Responsibility of Catholic Schools and Churches to Talk about Racism

October 2019
Thursday, October 10 - Sunday, October 13, 2019
16th National Black Catholic Men's Conference

Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 5855 W. Century Blvd.
​Los Angeles, CA 90045

Register at:

Adults: $150.00

Youth Ages 10-17:

Send Registration

Payment to:
Bowman Francis

Ministry Project
Rev. Chester P.

Smith, SVD

The NBCC extends congratulations and best wishes to the newly-elected General Council of The Josephites:

Most Reverend John Ricard, Superior General; Very Reverend Thomas Frank, Vicar General;
​and Very Reverend Ray Bomberger, Consultor General.

Please join us in prayer for the success of their ministry.

National Center for Victims of Crime 

National Human Trafficking Resource Center/Polaris Project 
Call: 1-888-373-7888 | Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)

​​​​We welcome you to submit your upcoming events!

We would love to include your parish activities, upcoming organizational conferences, or arch/diocesan events. Please email your information to: and feel free to attach a pdf of your flier, advertisement, or logo for us to include.

Joseph House helps former inmates find true and lasting freedom
An interview with Fr. Dustin Feddon, Executive Director of Joseph House

By NBCC Staff

Mass incarceration is defined as “comparatively and historically extreme rates of imprisonment and by the concentration of imprisonment among young, African American men living in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage.”[1]  A problem as complex as mass incarceration, with roots that reach back to the slave ships onloading human cargo along the coasts of Africa, may seem overwhelming and unsolvable, but ​Fr. Dustin Feddon tackles the issue one person at a time.

Fr. Dustin Feddon, of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, sees mass incarceration as an extension of the infrastructure of inequality—a belief in the fundamental differences between blacks and whites—that allowed systems such as slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and segregation to exist.  ​Read more...

Today the Basilica doors are open to the people of Baltimore - rich and poor alike - until 8 PM Monday through Friday, but this missionary program will take Jesus to the streets so we can attract souls to Christ and have their lives changed.

To learn more about this program, go to:

“What Would Jesus Want Me to Do?” Cultivating a Positive Parish from a Black Catholic Perspective

Mr. Ashley Morris, Th.M., Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Now Available:

Pastoral Plans of Action from Past Congresses

These instruments, issued shortly after each Congress, provide action steps for addressing the topics of concern presented during the Congress events.​ To download copies of the different Pastoral Plans, click button below. 

“What Would Jesus Do,” and its anagram “WWJD,” was a trendy statement popularized many years ago by young people all around the United States. One would be hard-pressed not to see the phrase or its anagram printed on t-shirts, wristbands, backpacks, stickers, or anywhere one could find free advertising space in high traffic areas. The brilliance behind the “WWJD” marketing thrived on the moral conscious of millions of Christians and people of good will seeking to espouse their beliefs in a way that encouraged thoughtful reflection instead of combative or sarcastic criticism. “WWJD” in some ways replaced the cross or crucifix at the time as the mark of a devout Christian, a symbol serving as a constant reminder for the bearer to consciously consider the mind and will of Jesus Christ as they encountered the ills and thrills of life.​

In hindsight, however, it feels as if that particular slogan was as helpful to our collective and individual spiritual development as a daily serving of twelve pounds of red meat is helpful to a heart-healthy, low cholesterol diet. Read more...

Ascension is hiring!

We are a company built around the call to help people enrich their lives through the fullness of the Catholic Faith. We’re passionate, mission-driven professionals and we’re looking for talented people to join our team. 

Our four current openings:
General Manager  /  Marketing Manager  /  Product Manager  /  Accounts Payable Clerk

To learn more about these openings, click here.  Feel free to pass this email on to anyone who might be interested!


Wearable Black Catholic Art!

August is Devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Excerpted from The Prayer Book by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A.

​The month of August (Overview - Calendar) is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.

This devotion has received new emphasis in this century from the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925 and 1926.  Read more...

Grow in Discipleship
The CCO Faith Study series presents a clear path to the heart of Christ. The leader guides are especially useful for those who want to learn how to bring others back to Jesus.

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 
1-800-537-2238 and

Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence 

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health
1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice volunteers have been a part of how we've cared for our community for over 30 years.

We have many Volunteer Opportunities available:

Direct Patient Support

  • Provide friendly, supportive visits, sharing interests, reading, active listening, hand-holding, bedside sitting & meal assistance
  • Provide respite care, companionship to a patient while family member runs errands, etc.
  • ​Assist with errands and homemaking tasks


from Our Catholic Prayers

This prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary printed below has a special resonance in its reference to our Blessed Mother’s sad heart at Fatima in this centennial year of the famous apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, described in part here and in some of the links listed below. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, my Mother, I come to you in childlike prayer. I earnestly desire that all the people of the world may be brought back to the humble knowledge and love of the Sacred Heart of your dear Son. I pray, dear Mother of my God, that the wonderful beauty and purity of your own Immaculate Heart may so win our souls that we may detest all sin and dedicate our lives to the honor and glory of the God who created us.

You revealed the secrets of your own sad heart at Fatima and begged for penance, prayer, and conversion of the world to God. What more can I do than unite my heart to yours in this great yearning? What can I add but the fervent prayer that all the world may listen to your pleading?

I give my heart to you, my heavenly Queen, and in confidence I leave to you what is best for me in answer to my prayer for love and reparation.

Immaculate Heart of the Mother of my God, I implore through your powerful intercession, the conversion of the hearts of men, complete victory over sin, and the return of the peace which you have promised. Amen 

Domestic Violence and Mental Health Resources

The National Black Catholic Congress TM

 We hold ourselves accountable
​to our baptismal commitment to
witness and proclaim the
Good News of Jesus Christ.

The National Black Catholic Congress | 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201 | 410-547-8496
© 2019 The National Black Catholic Congress, All Rights Reserved

NBCC 2019



The recorded programs are available here:

Join our mailing list:

JULY 24, 2019


Solidarity Among People of African Descent (SAPAD)

Presented by:

Valerie Batta

Racism and Racial Justice Resources for Catholics

How can you become involved in prison ministry?

The NBCC asked Fr. Feddon how a parish team could begin a prison ministry program, and he responded to the following questions:

If this is to be a parish sponsored program, would permission have to be given by the diocesan bishop?
Yes, for any parish to begin this type of ministry it if first important to receive the blessing of the Bishop.

How would a committee approach a prison to begin ministering to the inmates?
The first step in approaching a prison or jail for ministry is to contact the chaplain. The chaplain will then direct you from there.  Prisons differ state to state in their various rules when it comes to ministry, so the best thing to do is to ask the chaplain or whoever is in charge of ministries and services to help you get started.

What are some things that you think would be helpful for people to know as they begin prison ministry?
The first thing to know is this is sacred ministry where we are invited to minister and accompany those who are the lowest and poorest among us. Prison ministry is an opportunity to fulfill Christ's command to visit those imprisoned. It's also important to note that prison ministry is not about reforming prisoners nor changing their lives. If that is our approach we will fail and it will be miserable for all involved. Prison ministry is about us becoming the presence and light of Christ to those in isolation. It's also about us being open to the profound reality that often those whom we serve will minister to us. When we enter into greater proximity with those in prison, our lives will change and we will encounter God's mercy and justice in new ways. That is, if we're open to listening to those we encounter in these spaces. To be effective in these spaces of ministry, humility is essential. We have much to learn from those who are most marginalized in our society. For me, Michael, Tavares, Andre, Sederick, Joe [inmates Fr. Feddon has ministered to] and many others are my greatest teachers in this ministry.

Would prison ministers be allowed to bring in Bibles, study guides, etc.?

Often you can bring in study guides and items pertinent to the ministry, but usually, you can't bring in gifts for prisoners, however, you can as an organization donate items to the chapel through the mail.

How to support our missionary program at the Basilica

Pray the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary prayer card every day! 

Give generously in whatever way is easiest for you. Go to:


10 Ways to celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary this August

Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, is pictured at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. (Credit: Robert Duncan/CNS.)

"We are facing a national crisis in the United States. As a Catholic Bishop striving to live by and teach the good news of justice and peace proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth, I am compelled to name this truth. It is, in some way, a crisis of gun violence." ​

The Pastoral Reflection continues with an invitation for "pastors, administrators, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, principals, parents, and community leaders" to consider and implement four proposed responses Braxton proposes.

The Reflection concludes that learning from listening to each other through sharing experiences, praying, and reading, is an important step to understanding what you are called to do to address this "National Crisis." (Read the complete Pastoral Reflection by clicking the image above).

Use of NBCC Copyrighted Material
When using NBCC photos, videos, or staff-written articles, you acknowledge and agree that the NBCC is not responsible for any action taken or activity that occurs as a result of the information provided on this website. All proprietary items of the NBCC are subject to copyright, and may be used solely in a not-for-profit manner, and attribution must be made to the NBCC by including the following disclaimer: Used with permission of the NBCC ©NBCC 2019.
Content Available through the website is provided as-is: You acknowledge that the NBCC does not make any representations or warranties about the material, data, and information, such as data files, text, computer software, code, music, audio files or other sounds, photographs, videos, or other images (collectively, the “Content”) which you may have access to. Under no circumstances is the NBCC liable in any way for any Content, including, but not limited to: any infringing Content, any errors or omissions in Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Content posted, transmitted, linked from, or otherwise accessible through or made available via the website. You agree that you are solely responsible for your reuse of Content made available through the website, including providing proper attribution.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline 

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 
International Toll-Free (24/7) 
1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

​National Sexual Assault Hotline 
1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)