Servant of God, Fr. Augustus Tolton

Augustus was born to two slaves, Peter Paul Tolton and his wife Martha Jane, on April 1, 1854. With the outbreak of the War between the States, Peter Paul hoped to gain freedom for his family and escaped to the North where he served in the Union Army, and was one of the 180,000 blacks who were killed in the war. His widow decided that she would see her husband’s quest for freedom realized in his children. After managing a crossing of the Mississippi River she made her way to Illinois and settled in the small town of Quincy. Read more...

Black Catholic News 

Employment Opportunities

Whenever you begin to pray, say "I unite my prayers to all the prayers being prayed around the world in this present moment."

O Good Shepherd, You never cease to seek out the lost, to call home the stray, comfort the frightened, and to bind the wounded. I ask you to bring all our fallen away brothers and sisters back to the practice of the Faith, and to remove all obstacles that prevent them from receiving your abundant mercy, which flows sacramentally through the heart of the Church. Make Your Power known to them today in every situation.

Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, their Guardian Angels, their Patron Saints and the every-prayerful St. Monica, may you pardon their sins and unshackle them from whatever hinders their freedom to come Home. For You O Good Shepherd, have loved us to the end, offered yourself to the Father for the salvation of all.  Amen.

Prayers for the return of a non-practicing Catholic also should be accompanied by safrificial and private acts of fasting, and almsgiving in their name.

The next webinar, titled “I’m still waiting for my mind and my spirit

to find their way back to my body”:
​The Domestic Violence and Mental Health Connection

Presented by Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley through the collaboration of the NBCC and the Catholic Apostolate Center

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 2:00-3:00 PM EST

There’s no ‘typical survivor,’ and other facts to know about domestic violence
By Rachel Nania | October 16, 2018

Venerable Henriette Delille

Born in 1812 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Delille was a free woman of color. At 24 years of age, she experienced a religious conversion, and proclaimed: "I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I want to live and die for God."

In 1836, Henriette drew up the rules and regulations for devout Christian women, which eventually became the Society of the Holy Family, responding to the need for treatment of the enslaved, elderly and sick, and care and education for the poor. Read more...

Baltimore archbishop outlines path toward reform and renewal

in the Catholic Church

By William E. Lori November 9, 2018

Why do we pray for the dead?

 Published: 27 March 2017

Join our mailing list:

Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror
in the Era of Mass Incarceration
Presented September 12, 2018
Presented by Fr. Dustin Feddon, Ph.D.
and Maria Morrison, MSW of Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)

Where is My Faith? Webinar for Young Adults
Presented August 15, 2018
Ashley Morris and Lyndon Batiste, presenters

January 2019

Sat Jan 26th, 2019

Anniversary of the Death of Mother Mary Lange
Save the date! The Mother Lange Guild invites you to attend the 137th anniversary of the birth into eternal life of Servant of God Mother Mary Lange. Oblate Sisters of Providence, 701 Gun Road, Baltimore, MD 21227

Trending Catholic News 


October [was] Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the experts at DASH, a D.C.-based nonprofit and domestic violence shelter, shared some facts on domestic violence, plus some ways the public can help local survivors. Read more...​

A new normal and the business of getting healthy
“I had to become comfortable with my new normal, and be able to look in the mirror, accept myself and still feel beautiful.”

As a teenager, I remember my mother complaining of pain in her breasts because of a cyst. So, when I felt a lump in my own breast, the first person I talked to was my mother. I asked her if it seemed similar to what she’d experienced. She told me, “I’m not a doctor. You need to go to a doctor and see what’s going on.” I thought, “I’m getting older, I just turned 30, I’m just getting cysts like my mother experienced. Read more..

As is customary this time of year, Baltimore is again hosting the nation’s Catholic bishops, who are convening here in America’s first Roman Catholic diocese for extensive discussions about the relevance and impact of Catholic faith in American society. This year in particular, because of the severe crisis confronting the church, the agenda, deliberations and outcomes of our meeting are rightly under intense scrutiny.

The widely reported instances of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, the sexual harassment of adults and subsequent cover-up by far too many bishops are nothing short of horrific. These were crimes committed by men who presented themselves as God’s representatives. Instead, they betrayed the trust of the innocent and their calling. The systematic concealment by church authorities and attempts to silence victims in the effort to spare the church liability and scandal was not only misguided but fundamentally and morally wrong. The cumulative fallout has led to a profound crisis of faith and identity among Catholics around the world.

The path to restoring trust and the credibility of church leaders is still uncertain but will unquestionably be long and difficult. The extensive listening sessions that I conducted with parishioners across the archdiocese made this abundantly clear. Essential to the process of healing is complete transparency, while also making clear the steps that have and will be taken to prevent such things from happening again.

Since 2002, when the issue of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy initially came to the forefront, the Archdiocese of Baltimore became one of the first dioceses in the world to publicly disclose the names of all credibly accused priests, dating 

back to the 1940s. In the 16 years since, the archdiocese has publicly disclosed the names of credibly accused priests whenever new allegations have 

become known. Moreover, it is the policy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore that

Seventy-nine students kidnapped in Cameroon
By Courtney Grogan

Bamenda, Cameroon, Nov 6, 2018 (CNA/EWTN News).- Armed separatists kidnapped 79 students from a Christian boarding school in Cameroon Monday.

The principal, a teacher, and one other staff member were taken hostage Nov. 5 with the students aged 10 to 14 from the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s Northwest region.

Domestic Violence and Mental Health Resources

Venerable Pierre Toussaint

Pierre was born in Haiti and brought to New York City as a slave, where he died a free man. 

Bérard, the plantation owner and Pierre's master, allowed Pierre's grandmother to teach her grandson how to read and write. In his early 20s, Pierre, his younger sister, his aunt, and two other house slaves accompanied their master’s son to New York City because of political unrest at home. Apprenticed to a local hairdresser, Pierre learned the trade quickly and eventually worked in the homes of rich women in New York City. Read more...

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

Abuse discussion may overshadow racism letter at 
​US bishops' fall meeting

Nov 6, 2018  |  by Heidi Schlumpf

Pastoral Plan of Action

Help is Here!

A new Pastoral Plan User's Guide is now available, with step-by-step instructions on forming a committee, identifying the needs in your community, and constructing and implementing a strategic plan.

​​​​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.

The Human Life Issues and the Challenges to the Dignity of the Human Person
Presented October 17, 2018
Dr. Natasha Wilson, Sandra Coles-Bell, and Deacon Al Turner, presenters

When I hear pro-life, I think: What does

it mean to be pro-life? I’ve never heard

of it.
When I hear pro-life, I think: Pro-birth.
When I hear pro-life, I think: Anti-woman.
When I hear pro-life, I think: That’s not me because I had an abortion.
When I hear pro-life, I think: Pro-Republican.
When I hear pro-life, I think: ‘You only care about the baby before they are born, not after they are born’.
When I hear pro-life, I think: I am involved in pro-life ministry: I feed the poor, I work for an end to violence in the city, I take care of my family, I take care of the elderly, I mentor children, etc.
When I hear pro-life, I think: No one has ever invited me to get involved in pro-life ministry.When you hear the term pro-life, what do you think? In this article, I hope to address, as succinctly as possible, these thoughts about what it means to be pro-life. Read more...

​Thus., Feb. 14th  - Sat., Feb. 16th 

Mid-Atlantic Congress
Make Plans to Attend the 2019 8th Mid-Atlantic Congress for Catholics in Baltimore, MD. The theme is "Prophetic Disciples: Home, Parish, and World." The Mid-Atlantic Congress is an annual gathering of pastoral leaders at the diocesan, parish, and school levels, co-sponsored by the Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) and the Department of Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Hilton Baltimore Hotel and the Baltimore Convention Center 
$160 (early-bird fee postmarked by Dec. 15, 2018) Regular rate, Dec. 16, 2018 to Jan. 15, 2019, $185 registration. Single day rate, Thurs. and Fri. $75 with lunch. Sat. day rate $30 (lunch is not included). Two-day: Thurs. & Fri. $135, Fri. & Sat. $105. Volunteers may receive a complimentary or discounted registration based on the amount of time that they give. 
Who should attend? “Your faith community and YOU!” Registration starts Sept. 3, 2018. For more information, please visit

Pictured: Memorial candles are seen next to a statue of St. Paul in a mausoleum alcove at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, N.Y. (CNS | Gregory A. Shemitz)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Praying for the dead might not make sense to nonbelievers but for Catholics it is part and parcel of the faith tradition, rooted in Old Testament readings and supported by the Catechism and the Church’s funeral liturgy.

“Our faith teaches us to pray for the dead,” said Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill., in a 2015 All Saints’ Day reflection, stressing that although people hope that those who die are with God and the angels and saints, it is not necessarily a guarantee. Read more...

Servant of God, Mother Mary Lange

UPDATE: A new external coordinator was appointed for the Cause of Servant of God Mary Lange. He is Dr. Emanuele Spedicato, tasked with writing the Positio to be presented to the Congregation for the Cause for Saints in order for her to progress to the next step of being named a Venerable Servant of God.

Bio: Elizabeth Lange was born in around 1794 in Santiago de Cuba, where she lived in a primarily French speaking community. Read more...

(CNS /Tyler Orsburn)

The U.S. bishops' long-awaited pastoral letter against racism is in danger of being overshadowed by discussion of sex abuse at the church leaders' annual meeting in November, but two bishops who worked on the document think it could also help restore some of their credibility. Read more...

Have you ever asked someone what their plans are for the holidays, and you to your surprise they told you they were spending it alone? No one says it quite like that, of course. They might talk about how they have been looking forward to some solitude and reading, and not having to do anything but veg. But in reality they may be alone for the holidays because of other circumstances out of their control.

Their kids may be spending Christmas with an ex-spouse out of state. Or perhaps they’re a college student, or a young working professional who just can’t quite afford flying home this Christmas. Or perhaps a widow, or widower who’s kids have long since moved away and started their own families, and are not going to be able to visit this year. 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


Posted by Carolyn Bell | Christmas Spirit Year Round, Holiday Articles & Stories

 Dedicated to improving the lives of Black Catholics across the United States 

Calendar of Events​​

With great sadness, we announce the passing of His Excellency, Dominic Carmon, SVD.  Bishop Carmon peacefully transitioned on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at the age of 87.

Click here for more information.

When I Hear Pro-Life…
By: Natasha P. Wilson, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Education and Outreach
Office of Respect Life Ministry
Archdiocese of Baltimore

QUESTION:Why do I have to go to a priest for confession instead of going straight to God? After all, the Bible says that "there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).

ANSWER: The Lord does want us to come to him when we fall into sin. He wants to bring us forgiveness so much that he gave the apostles the power to forgive sins. This power given to the apostles and their successors does not come from within them but from God.  Read more...

Sacraments 101: Penance
​(why we confess)

Understanding Our Faith

Update on Black Catholic Saints-to-be

Concise graphics provide an easy-to-follow 


Click any image

to download or

click here.

During the month of November, American Catholics will observe Black Catholic History Month. Notre Dame will also participate in this commemoration. Deacon Mel Tardy, who is a member of the committee planning the events at Notre Dame, said the event was established by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, which is a gathering of African American priests, deacons, bishops and seminarians, because many individuals felt like the experience of African American Catholics was being overlooked.  Read more...

Servant of God Julia Greeley

​Denver's Angel of Charity was born into slavery, at Hannibal, Missouri, between 1833 and 1848. As a young child, Julia's right eye was destroyed by a cruel slavemaster's whip.

Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Julia subsequently earned her keep by serving white families in Missouri, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico—though mostly in the Denver area. Whatever she could spare, Julia ​spent assisting poor families in her neighborhood. When her resources were inadequate, she begged for food, fuel and clothing for the needy.  Read more...

any allegation of abuse be promptly reported to civil authorities, including Maryland’s attorney general. Recently, it was announced that the Office of the Attorney General for the state of Maryland is conducting an investigation into the past and current practices of the archdiocese in dealing with instances of abuse. We have committed our full cooperation to this review.

Now, for the matter of accountability. There is zero tolerance for anyone in the employment of the Archdiocese of Baltimore — lay or clergy — who is credibly accused of sexual abuse. Anyone who is credibly accused is permanently removed from ministry and employment. Each allegation is also brought before an independent review board that is responsible for reviewing the archdiocese’s handling of every allegation against any person who ministers on behalf of the church, including bishops. The board, comprised mostly of lay men and women with professional credentials in the fields of canon law, human resources, child protection and civil law, is empowered to oversee the archdiocese’s enforcement of child protection policies.

Because the role and influence of the laity must be expanded, I have also announced the creation of a new Archdiocesan Pastoral Council to foster greater lay involvement in the pastoral and administrative life of the Archdiocese.


The National Black Catholic Congress | 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201 | 410-547-8496
© 2018 The National Black Catholic Congress, All Rights Reserved

What Do Catholics Really Believe About Purgatory?
November 1, 2017

By Nick Rabiipour

Purgatory is probably one of the most misunderstood Catholic doctrines today, and many do not believe that it really exists.  In this article I’m briefly going to cover what purgatory is, the biblical foundation for purgatory, and the history of the teaching on purgatory in the Catholic Church.  I will not specifically cover in detail prayer for the dead or indulgences, which you can read about here: 20 Ways to Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), purgatory is a “final purification” (CCC 1031) which is afforded to “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” so that they might “achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC 1030). Read more...

How to Defend the Sacrament of Confession

by Jason Evert

"One in 26 could be anyone. Epilepsy strikes regardless of race."

More people live with epilepsy than with autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined. But silence, fear and myths around epilepsy persist in every community, including African American communities. Read more...

Congress 12 Pastoral Plan of Action

is Available for Download

Click image below:

Deacon Larry Oney provides outreach to Uganda through the Hope & Purpose Ministry

Operation Faith Lift…
‘Stand Ready with Shoes to Announce
the Good News!’
NBCC Staff Article
Some Baltimore parishes take their ‘marching orders’ to go out into the world and make new disciples literally. Known as ‘Operation Faith Lift,” people from Catholic parishes take their evangelization message to the streets of their neighborhoods, and have been doing it since the program’s inception in the year 2000.

In year 2000 as the Church celebrated “The Jubilee Year”, Black Catholics were ready to share the good news of Jesus with their neighbors and anyone they met. They were inspired and faithfully formed through an evangelization initiative known as “Operation Faith Lift”. Read more...

The 2018 NBCC Webinar Series

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 2018.
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.


Deacon Larry Oney – Mission Trip to Uganda, East Africa 2018

Deacon Larry Oney, founder and president of Hope and Purpose Ministries, traveled to Uganda, East Africa in June/July 2018.  Read more

A photo of the late Benedictine Father Cyprian Davis, center, a renowned chronicler of black Catholic history, is seen at St. Katharine Drexel Chapel of Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans surrounded by pictures of four candidates for sainthood. Father Davis' work was integral to bringing attention nationally and internationally to the ways that people of African descent helped to develop Catholicism from the earliest days. (CNS photo/Christine Bordelon, Clarion Herald)

From the 1920s through the 1960s more than 300,000 African-Americans across the country chose to enter into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Read more...

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

Giving Thanks

Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a different perspective by showing how blessings can be found in even  the most dismal situations.

Choosing Catholicism and celebrating Black Catholic History Month
Catholic News Service  |  22 October 2018

Health News: November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Epilepsy and the African American Community

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)

National Center for Victims of Crime 

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

Prayer for the Return of Non-practicing Catholics

Black Catholic History Month seeks to promote cultural awareness at Notre Dame
Mary Clare Donnelly | Tuesday, November 6, 2018