The National Black Catholic Congress®
Most Reverend Fernand Cheri III, OFM
Currently serving as the Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, and the Titular Bishop of Membressa, Bishop Cheri was appointed January 12, 2015 and installed March 23, 2015.
Bishop Cheri was ordained to the Catholic Church on May 20, 1978 by Philip Hannan and consecrated March 23, 2015 by Gregory Michael Aymond,Wilton Daniel Gregory, and J. Terry Steib. After his ordination he received a master's degree in theology from Xavier University of Louisiana's Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
Born January 28, 1952 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Bishop Cheri attended St. John Vianney Preparatory Seminary in New Orleans. He went on to study at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.
(Stay With Us O Lord)
Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Born December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory attended St. Carthage Grammar School, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College of Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. Three years after his ordination he began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome. There he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago on December 13, 1983. On February 10, 1994, he was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL. On December 9, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Gregory as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005. Archbishop Gregory was appointed as the seventh archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC on April 4, 2019.
Most Reverend Dominic Carmon, SVD
Born December 13th, 1930 in Opelousas, Louisiana, Carmon joined the Society of the Divine Word in 1946, and was ordained to the priesthood on February 2, 1960. He served as a missionary to Papua New Guinea from 1961 to 1968. On December 16, 1992, Carmon was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans and Titular Bishop of Rusicade by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on February 11, 1993 from Archbishop Francis Schulte. Bishop Carmon passed into eternal life on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at the age of 87.
Currently Active Bishops
Most Reverend George V. Murry, SJ
Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. After graduating from Catholic elementary and high schools, he attended St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia, PA, St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland where he received a bachelor's degree in Philosophy in 1972. That same year he entered the Society of Jesus. He earned a Masters of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley in 1979 and a doctorate in American Cultural History from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1994.
On January 24, 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed him titular Bishop of Fuerteventura and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago where he was ordained to the episcopacy on March 20, 1995. On May 5, 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed him Coadjutor Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Bishop Murry succeeded to the see on June 30, 1999.
Most Reverend Emerson Moore
Most Reverend Emerson Moore was born on May 16th, 1938 in the Harlem section of New York City, and was raised as a Baptist. Raised in the Bronx, he attended Cardinal Hayes High School, and converted to Catholicism at age 15. On May 30, 1964, Moore was ordained a priest by Cardinal Francis Spellman at St. Patrick's Cathedral. He was consecrated on September 8th, 1983 by Cardinal Terence Cooke. Moore founded the Office for Black Ministry in the Archdiocese of New York, and He was was
appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1982. He passed away on September 14th, 1995.
Most Reverend Joseph Francis,
Bishop Francis was born on Sept. 30, 1923, in Lafayette, La. He attended St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis and St. Mary's Seminary in Techny, Ill. He was ordained in Bay St. Louis on Oct. 7, 1950. He later earned a master's degree at Catholic University in Washington. His appointment as Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Peter L. Gerety of Newark was announced by Pope Paul VI in 1976. He left this world on Monday, September 1, 1997
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(Those Who Love God All Things Work Together)
(Send Me Lord)
Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop John H. Ricard, S.S.J., was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on March 13, 1997 by Pope John Paul II. Bishop Ricard moved from the Archdiocese of Baltimore where he served as Auxiliary Bishop. He is the former Chair of Catholic Relief Services where he served from 1995 to 2002.Bishop Ricard was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and upon completion of high school entered the Josephite College Seminary in Newburgh, New York. He completed his theological training at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1968. Since ordination, Bishop Ricard continued his studies, receiving a Masters Degree from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1970 and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1984. Bishop Ricard served as President of the National Black Catholic Congress from its inception until April 2019. In June 2019, he was elected Superior General of the Society of St. Joseph (the Josephites).
Most Reverend Moses B. Anderson, SSE
Born in Selma, AL, in 1928, he attended Saint Micael's College in Winooski, Vermont, and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy. He then went to Saint Edmund's Seminary and was ordained an Edmundite priest in 1958. He earned an M.S. in Sociology from St. Michael's College and an M.A. in Theology from Xavier University. During his 25-year anniversary as a priest, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Detroit, a post he held for 20 years before retiring from active ministry in 2003. Bishop Anderson was called home on Jan. 1, 2013.
Most Reverend Curtis Guillory, SVD
Curtis John Guillory became the fifth bishop of the Beaumont Diocese on July 28, 2000, and the first to be a member of a religious community, the Society of the Divine Word. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese on December 29, 1987, and ordained on February 19, 1988.
Bishop Guillory was born on September 1, 1943, in Mallet, Louisiana. Young Curtis entered the Society of Divine Word’s St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He earned a BA from the Divine Word College at Epworth, Iowa, in 1968, and later earned a master’s of divinity degree at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.His ordination took place on December 16, 1972, by Bishop Carlos Lewis, a member of the Divine Word Community, of Panama. Father Guillory later earned a master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Most Reverend Shelton Fabre, V.G.
Born October 25, 1963 in New Roads, Louisiana, Bishop Fabre is the fifth of six children, and he was ordained a Priest on Saturday, August 5, 1989 by Bishop Stanley J. Ott at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, LA. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 2006 and was later ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans. Hughes. He was appointed Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux on September 23, 2013, and he was installed Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales, Houma, LA, October 30, 2013.
Bishop Fabre has an MA in Religious Studies from the Katholiek Universiteit te Leuven in Louvain, Belgium and a BA in Religious Studies from the Katholiek Universiteit te Leuven in Louvain, Belgium and a BA in History from St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict, LA.
Most Reverend Roy Edward Campbell, Jr.
Born on November 19, 1947, Bishop Campbell has been a life-long member of the Archdiocese of Washington. He was baptized at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Indian Head, MD, received his First Holy Communion in 1956 at Saint Cyprian Church in Southeast Washington and the Sacrament of Confirmation in 1959 at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church in Northwest Washington. In 1999, Campbell entered the archdiocese’s permanent diaconate program. In January 2003, Campbell entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary to begin his priestly formation, and completed his seminary studies at in 2007, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained into the priesthood on May 26, 2007 by Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He was appointed pastor of Assumption Catholic Church in southeast Washington in 2008, and in 2010 was appointed to his current assignment, as pastor of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Largo. In addition to being the pastor of Saint Joseph’s, he has served as dean of Middle Prince George’s County, and is a member of the Clergy Personnel Board, Vocations Board and College of Consultors. Cardinal Donald Wuerl ordained Bishop Roy Edward Campbell Jr. as a new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington on April 21, 2017 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Bishop Campbell was installed as president of the NBCC on April 1, 2019.
Most Reverend Joseph Howze
Most Reverent Joseph Howze converted to Catholicism at age twenty-four. After expressing an interest in the Priesthood, Howze was accepted to study at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University in New York and was ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 7, 1959.
On November 8, 1972 Howze was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Natchez-Jackson, Mississippi by Pope Paul VI. When the Diocese of Biloxi was created in 1977, Howze was appointed as its first bishop.
He was the first black bishop in the 20th century to head a diocese in the United States. He retired June 6, 2001, and passed from this life on January 9, 2019 at 95 years of age.
Most Reverend Guy Sansaricq
Born in Jeremie, Haiti, Oct. 6, 1934, into a devout Catholic family, Guy A. Sansaricq decided at age 13 that he wanted to become a priest. He attended the seminary of the Jeremie Diocese for five years, after which he received a scholarship to St. Paul’s Pontifical Seminary in Ottawa, Canada, where he studied philosophy and theology for seven years. In 1960 he was ordained a priest in the cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
After ordination he was assigned by his bishop to serve as chaplain for Haitian immigrants in the Bahamas. When he completed his work in the Bahamas, he was given a scholarship to study social sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a master’s degree in 1971. In that same year, he was accepted to serve in the Diocese of Brooklyn and was appointed diocesan coordinator of the Haitian Apostolate, and in 1987 he was selected to head the National Haitian Apostolate.
Most Reverend J. Terry Steib, SVD
Bishop J. Terry Steib was born in Vacherie, Louisiana. He was inspired to become a priest by his doctors, ministers and community leaders. He attended St. Augustine Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi from 1953 to 1957, and graduated from Divine Word Seminary in 1961. He completed his philosophical studies also at Divine Word Seminary in Techny, Illinois in 1963, and earned a theological degree from Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis in 1967.
Steib was ordained a priest on January 6, 1967. On December 6, 1983, Steib was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis and Titular Bishop of Fallaba by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on February 10, 1984. He was named to succeed Daniel M. Buechlein as the fourth Bishop of Memphis on March 24, 1993, and installed on May 5, 1993.
Pope Francis accepted his resignation on August 23, 2016.
Most Reverend James P. Lyke,
James Lyke became archbishop in 1991, and a native of Chicago, he was the spiritual leader of 185,000 Catholics in north Georgia. He entered the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in St. Louis in 1959, and was ordained as a priest in 1966. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Cleveland in 1970 and was ordained a bishop in 1979. Lyke was installed as archbishop in June, 1991. Bishop Lyke passed away on December 27, 1992.
Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D.
Bishop Edward K. Braxton, Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, was born on June 28, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. John Cardinal Cody, Archbishop of Chicago ordained him to the priesthood on May 13, 1970. He earned his M.A. and S.T.L from The University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein. His Ph. D. and S.T.D are from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of St. Louis, ordained him to the episcopacy on May 17, 1995. After five years as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, he was appointed second Bishop of Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2000. Five years later, he was installed as eight Bishop of Belleville on June 22, 2005, the Feast of St. Thomas More. Bishop Braxton is a widely published theologian and a foremost commentator on the racial divide in the United States and in the Catholic Church.
Most Reverend Leonard Olivier, SVD
Most Reverend Leonard Olivier was born on October 12, 1923 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was ordained a priest for the Society of the Divine Word in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. On November 7, 1988, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated bishop on December 20, 1988. Olivier was a Fourth Degree Knight of St. Peter Claver, a Fourth Degree Knight of St. John and Columbus as well as a board member of the National Black Catholic Congress. He retired in 2004. He passed away on November 19th, 2014.
About the Bishops' Coat of Arms
Unless a new bishop has a family coat of arms, he typically adopts within his shield symbols that indicate his interests or past service. Devotion to a particular saint is represented by symbols established in iconography. If a bishop is a diocesan bishop, it is customary for him to combine his arms with the arms of the diocese following normal heraldic rules. This combining is termed marshalling, and is normally accomplished by impalement, placing the arms of the diocese to the viewer's left and the personal arms to the viewer's right. In contrast, the shield of the auxiliary bishop does not contain elements from the diocese to which he is assigned, but represents his interests and icons.
Most Reverend Gordon D. Bennett, SJ
Born in Denver, Colorado on October 21, 1946, Fr. Bennett pronounced his first vows as a Jesuit on September 8, 1966, and in 1983, on February 2, pronounced his final vows.
From 1996 through 1998, Fr. Bennett was the President of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. It was during this time that he was appointed Titular Bishop of Nesqually and Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore. He was ordained Bishop at the Cathedral of Mary Queen in Baltimore on March 3, 1998.
Bishop Bennett was named head of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica by the Holy Father on July 6, 2004 but after two years he returned to California for health reasons. He assumed his current position as the St. Peter Faber, S.J., Fellow in Ignatian Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, in August 2008.
Most Reverend Harold Perry, SVD
Most Reverend Harold Perry born on October 9th, 1916 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was ordained on January 6th, 1944, and was the 26th African American to become a Catholic priest. On September 29, 1965, Perry was appointed titular bishop of Mons in Mauretania and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on January 6, 1966, from Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi. For many years he also served as national chaplain of the Knights of Peter Claver. He left this world on July 17th, 1991.
Most Reverend Carl Fisher, SSJ
Born in 1945 in Pascagoula, MS, Bishop Fisher was ordained on June 2, 1973. He became pastor of the 194-year-old St. Francis Xavier Parish in Baltimore in 1982, the oldest black parish in the nation.
As auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, he supervised 70 parishes, 53 elementary schools and 10 high schools in the archdiocese's San Pedro Pastoral Region. Bishop Fisher left this world on September 2, 1993.
Illustration courtesy of the
Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry
Bishop Joseph Perry is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He grew up in an observant Catholic home in Chicago and was one of six children. He attended various Catholic schools in Chicago and from a young age “had an affinity to the Church.”
At 15, he entered the high school seminary and was eventually ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1975, and was appointed a bishop in 1998.
He holds a J.C.L. from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., a M.Div. from St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Theology from St. Joseph College, as well as a minor in Education.
Most Reverend Elliott G. Thomas
Thomas attended Charlotte Amalie
High School, in St. Thomas, where he graduated in 1945. In 1950, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and qualified as a registered pharmacist, returning to the Virgin Islands to be a pharmacist in St. Thomas. In 1957, Thomas converted to Catholicism. He began his studies for the priesthood in 1982 at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1986, and was appointed Episcopal Vicar for the diocese and Pastor of Holy Family Church. Thomas was named as the Third Bishop of the Virgin Islands on October 30, 1993, and served until June 1999. Bishop Howze passed away on February 28, 2019 at 92 years of age.
Most Reverend Eugene A. Marino, SSJ
Josephite Father Eugene A. Marino, SSJ, was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1934, of Puerto-Rican and African American parentage. He was appointed titular bishop of Walla-Walla and auxiliary bishop of Washington on July 11, 1974. He was later appointed Archbishop of Atlanta March 10, 1988 and became the first African American archbishop in the United States of America. He resigned the archbishopric July 10, 1990 and became chaplain at the Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michgan until 1995.and died November 12, 2000.
Most Reverend Martin D. Holley
Born on December 31, 1954 in Pensacola, Florida, Holley attended Alabama State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1977. He studied theology at the Catholic University of America and completed his seminary studies at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL, where he earned a master of divinity degree in 1987. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on May 8, 1987.
Bishop Holley was appointed auxiliary bishop of Washington on May 18, 2004, and was ordained a bishop on July 2, 2004. He served as vicar general for the Archdiocese of Washington and is a member of the archdiocesan College of Consultors, Presbyteral
Council, Seminarian Review Board, Administrative Board, and chairman of the College of Deans. Installed Bishop of Memphis in Tennessee on October 19, 2016, he was given the title Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee in October, 2018.