US Catholic Faith in Real Life

African American History Month

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During February, as a nation we look at the important history of African Americans, but do we celebrate the commemorative month as a church? All year long, 3 million African American Catholics contribute to the spiritual, intellectual, and communal life of the church. This month, we look at African Americans’ contributions throughout history of the church, the continuing challenge of civil rights today, as well as some significant black Catholics who continue to serve the faithful as wise guides. (Image: Father Augustus Tolton)

Race, the church, and America

Dream on
Theologian M. Shawn Copeland says we’re far from a post-racial society.

A few steps closer to the promised land
Journalist Don Wycliff argues that the church needs to take the lead on the issue of race in America.

Wise Guides

King and I
Father Bryan Massingale writes that Martin Luther King Jr.’s example helped him stand up for what he believed in.

Thea Bowman inspires her Franciscan sister Charlene Smith to live fully.

Civil Writer
Daniel Rudd, the founder of the National Black Catholic Congress, inspires Daryl Grigsby to continue working for the church he envisions.

From our special issues on African America Catholics

Built of living stones
Learn about the history of black Catholics in the United States through five people’s stories told by Father Cyprian Davis, O.S.B. and an accompanying timeline.

Let the church say Amen!
Father J. Glenn Murray, S.J. tells us what an African American perspective can contribute to the understanding of the liturgy.

Other resources

National Black Catholic Congress

Notre Dame's recent study on African American Catholics