The AAPC Newsletter, January 2024, Issue 7

A Message from Dr. Chiquita T. Tuttle,

Coordinator, African American Pastoral Center

What Do You Know About Your Black Bishops?

In light of Black History, which we will be celebrating in February, I thought it would be pertinent to highlight our black Bishops and to remind our communities of the value and importance of diversity. 

Black Bishops have played a significant role in shaping the history and dynamics of the Catholic Church through their invaluable contributions. From navigating the challenges of racial inequality to promoting social justice and inclusivity, Black Bishops have brought a unique perspective to the Church's leadership. Their commitment to faith, advocacy for the marginalized, and efforts to bridge cultural divides have left a lasting impact on both the Catholic community and society at large. In this introduction, we will explore the noteworthy contributions of Black Bishops within the Catholic Church, highlighting their influence on spiritual growth, community engagement, and the pursuit of equality. We are including photos and the link to their backgrounds in this issue for you to explore and learn about the current Bishops. Additionally, within the links provided, you may find information on our retired and deceased bishops.

Our Bishops understand our community and relate to us from every aspect. They always have our best spiritual interest at heart. Our community looks to them for guidance, spiritual direction, and spiritual growth. Their knowledge and wisdom related to black theology and spirituality are a gift to us and the church. Making sure that we, as a community, know about them is important. 

The need for representation of Black Catholics within the Catholic Church is rooted in the fundamental principles of inclusivity, diversity, and equal participation in the faith community. Black Catholics bring a rich and unique perspective to the Church, reflecting a diverse range of cultural experiences, histories, and spiritual traditions. By ensuring adequate representation, the Church can better fulfill its mission of serving all members of the global Christian community.

Representation matters for several reasons. First and foremost, it allows Black Catholics to see themselves reflected in the leadership of the Church, fostering a sense of belonging and connection. When individuals can relate to those in positions of authority, it strengthens their faith and encourages active engagement in the Church's activities.

Moreover, representation is essential for addressing the specific needs and concerns of the Black Catholic community. It enables leaders to understand and respond to the challenges faced by Black Catholics, including issues related to racial justice, social equality, and cultural understanding. A diverse leadership ensures a more comprehensive approach to addressing the complex and multifaceted aspects of the Church's mission.

Additionally, having Black representation in leadership positions helps break down stereotypes and misconceptions, fostering a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the Catholic Church. It sends a powerful message of unity and solidarity, emphasizing that the Church is a place for everyone, regardless of race or background.

In summary, the representation of Black Catholics within the Catholic Church is crucial for fostering a more inclusive, understanding, and responsive faith community. It not only strengthens the connection between Black Catholics and their faith but also contributes to the Church's broader mission of promoting justice, equality, and unity among its diverse members.


In a recent article published by The Arlington, Catholic Herald, Pope Francis recently issued a statement that needs highlighting. He stated, “Diversity is a blessing when all are united in faith.” He goes on to state, “Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity while at the same time building unity,” and “When we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and unique, we bring division.” Source: Diversity is a blessing when all are united in faith, pope says - Arlington Catholic Herald. ) 


Our role and focus at the AAPC is to ensure that Black Catholics are included and heard within our parishes and the diocese by presenting subjects and topics of interest that enrich our hearts, souls, and minds. We take on leadership roles and provide support to engage, evangelize and do God's work. 


Explore the backgrounds of the Bishops presented in this article and keep them in prayer as they lead our dioceses and represent the Black Communities across the nation and throughout the world.

We are appreciative to the office of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) and the respective Dioceses of the featured Bishops for allowing us to share their photos and information. 


Bishops Currently Serving


Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Washington



Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky


Bishop of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands


Cardinal, Archdiocese of Washington, DC



Bishop, Charleston, South Carolina

Learn More

Learn more about these Bishops, as well as Retired and Deceased Bishops by visiting the National Black Catholic Congress webpage HERE

Important Reading

Black Catholic Messenger: We must vote to stem the tide of violence.


Events Around The Diocese

St. Columba Church

Catch up with events at St. Columba HERE.

St. Benedict Church

Catch up with events at St. Benedict HERE.

St. Patrick Church

Catch up with events at St. Patrick HERE.

St. Louie Bertrand Church

A Seat At The Table presentation about AAPC on January 21, 2024 from 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Catch up with events at St. Louie Bertrand HERE.



Sunday, January 21, 12:30-2:30 

St. Columba Church Hall

6401 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland



Questions? Please contact:

[email protected]

 East Bay Reparations Awareness and Advocacy offers the

Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Simulation


The simulation takes about 90 minutes,

including opening and closing prayer.

The simulation is an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides. 

The simulation helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. Creates a readiness to understand and discuss Reparations options.

EBRAA will offer the following dates/times.

Dates offered, but other dates are also available:

Sundays: 2-4pm  

January 28; February 11, 18;  March 3, 10;


Please contact: [email protected] or [email protected]


This activity is co-sponsored by the St. Columba Youth Group and Knights of Peter Claver Council 127.

Saturday, JAN 27, 2024

1-4 pm

The Cathedral of Christ the Light

You are cordially invited to the Path to Sainthood screening on January 27, 2024, from 1 to 4 pm at The Cathedral of Christ the Light in the Event Center. The documentary will describe the stories of the six incredible African American men and women who are currently in the canonization process for sainthood. We as a community have been praying for their successful journey at each of our masses over the past year. 

Currently, there are NO AFRICAN AMERICAN SAINTS recognized by the Catholic Church. Each of these candidates is on their journey for that to become a reality. The process is arduous and each of the six is in a different stage of the canonization journey. 

We look forward to you attending this FREE viewing event and extending this invitation to your family and friends.

Light refreshments will be served. Parking is $5.00 in the Cathedral garage.

Please take a moment to RSVP here. Contact: (510) 444-1081 or [email protected].

This event is sponsored by St. Patrick's Parish in collaboration with African American Pastoral Center.

Links of Interest From the AAPC*

Black Catholic Messenger: The Voice of US Black Catholics

Black Catholic Messenger Calendar, Black Catholic Events Around the Country

Parishes In Action, A ministry of the Diocese of Oakland

Email Dr. Tuttle to share updates, events and stories of interest
Donate HERE Today and Support the African American Pastoral Council
Are you registered to VOTE? Register and learn more here

Previous Newsletters

Issue 6

Issue 5

Issue 4

Issue 3

Issue 2

Issue 1

African American Pastoral Center

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Oakland, CA 94612