Parish Project for Black History Month: Learning about and Praying for Black Americans on the Road to Sainthood

Fr. Smith and the Parish Pastoral Council would like to let you know about an upcoming parish project for Black History Month, which is next month, to learn about and pray for Black Americans on the road to sainthood.

The US Catholic Bishops highlights six Black Americans, who are under consideration to be recognized as saints. For each of the four weekends in February, we will include a brief write-up in the parish email about one of these six individuals and will pray for the person at that Sunday’s Mass by using his/her prayer and including a petition for his/her sainthood candidacy in the Prayers of the Faithful.

Below is a brief description of each individual largely drawn from the America Magazine article in 2018, New coalition seeks sainthood for five African-Americans:

  • Pierre Toussaint, 1766-1853, a former slave who parlayed his connections as a hairdresser to prominent New Yorkers into a career of charity.
  • Henriette Delille, 1813-1862, a mixed-race woman who founded Sisters of the Holy Family, a religious order based in New Orleans.
  • Mary Elizabeth Lange, c. 1794-1882, who founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore.
  • Augustus Tolton, 1854-1897, identified as America’s first black Catholic priest, who had to train in Rome because no U.S. seminary would take him.
  • Julia Greeley, c. 1840-1918, a former slave who became known as Denver’s Angel of Charity for her support of poor families.
  • Sr. Thea Bowman, 1937-1990, an evangelizer, teacher, and writer, who was significantly involved in ministry to African Americans and increasing the Church’s awareness of the importance of this ministry.

The US Catholic Bishops website has more information about each person, https://www.usccb.org/committees/african-american-affairs/road-sainthood-leaders-african-descent.

Writers needed! We are looking for volunteers who could help us all learn more about these individuals by writing short summaries about their lives and what makes them holy men and women. If you would be interested in helping, please contact Donna Whiteford, [email protected], and Mike McGowan, [email protected] Please  let us know if there a particular individual that you would like to write about.