The AAPC Newsletter, July 2023 Volume 1, Issue 2

The National Black Catholic Congress 2023

A Message from Dr. Chiquita T. Tuttle,

Coordinator, African American Pastoral Center

This issue will focus on the recently attended National Black Catholic Congress. Representatives from Saint Columba ( Maurice Harper, Susan Wiley, Cynthia LeBlanc, Carla Dillard Smith, Judith Brooks) and Saint Benedict (Chiquita T. Tuttle PhD, Wallita Sykes Bush (also representing St. Vincent DePaul).

This year’s Congress theme was “Write the Vision”.  The last Congress was held in Orlando, Florida in 2017. The Congress convenes every 5 years.  Representatives from Dioceses around the country attend sending delegations of adults and youth. During the roll call, it is amazing to see how many dioceses support and send representatives. New Orleans showed up and showed out! Kudos to Dr. Ansel Augustine and his group.


Numerous workshops were available, and we often state that we wanted to attend so many but it is impossible. With that in mind, the delegation from the Diocese of Oakland went to their workshops of interest and gathered important information to aid the African American Pastoral Center and their parishes develop programs and provide significant information for our communities.


We are providing links to various segments of the congress that you can preview/review at your leisure.  Particularly of interest and notable is the keynote given by His Eminence Cardinal Wilton C. Gregory. Also, Bishop Ricard (Pensacola/Tallahassee) gave a strong message for us to “Not let the Fire go out”. Please take the time to hear these powerful messages of hope from our leadership.


The Congress left us hopeful, encouraged, and delighted to see 3000 Black Catholics worshiping and praising God in our very vibrant ways.  We were authentically black and Catholic! The choir ( Susan Wiley was a participant) was magnificent.  I hope you enjoy the trailers provided.

The photo gallery includes candid photos and videos of keynote speakers taken by me and members of the group capturing the essence of our African American Catholic community in unity, praise, and being present in writing the vision for us moving forward. The celebration at the Basicalla in Washington D. C. was incredible. Enjoy that clip!

NBCC 2023, The Experience

This year celebrates the 13th National Black Catholic Congress. The power of prayer and the gathering of Black Catholics from all over the United States displayed a powerful commitment to inclusion as Black Catholics in today's church.

Click HERE to watch the opening keynote call for visionaries from Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbisop of Washington.

Click HERE to see photos taken by the Oakland delegation.

Share in the experience by watching the Opening and Closing Liturgies and Plenary Sessions by watching HERE.

A Summer of Black Catholic Gatherings

This summer brought three significant events for Black Catholics in the United States;

  • July 13-19, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary held its 107th National Convention in New Orleans;

  • July 20-23, the National Black Catholic Congress celebrated in Fort Washington, Maryland; and

  • July 21-23 the fourth African National Eucharistic Congress took place on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington.

Read a synopsis of the events from The Catholic Standard HERE.

NBCC Attendees from the Diocese of Oakland

  • Wallita Sykes- Banks - Saint Benedict Parish
  • Maurice Harper - Saint Columba Parish 
  • Susan Wiley - Saint Columba Parish
  • Cynthia Leblanc - Saint Columba Parish
  • Carla Dillard Smith - Saint Columba Parish
  • Judith Brooks, - Saint Columba Parish
  • Fr. Ken Hamilton - Saint Patrick Parish
  • Fr. Steven Bell - formerly on the Racial Justice Task Force 
  • Dr. Chiquita T. Tuttle, African American Pastoral Center

Maurice Halper, Knights of Peter Claver, St. Benedict Church

New Orleans delegation to the NBCC, July 2023

Answering The Call To Thrive: The Legacy of The National Black Catholic Congress

Watch HERE.


Visit the National Black Catholic Congress Youtube Channel HERE

August is Black Philanthropy Month

Essence is Celebrating Black Philanthropy Month, read more HERE.

New African American Priest in New Orleans Making Waves! Learn more HERE.

Around Our Community

  • Meet the St. Benedict Parish Council HERE

  • Meet the St. Columba Parish Council HERE

Events Around The Diocese

Hope for Haiti Summer White Party

Join St. Columba Parish on August 26, 2023 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in the Parish Garden for an end of summer white party fundraiser for Hope for Haiti.

Events at St. Columba

Catch up with events at St. Columba HERE....

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

*Clickable Links

Email Dr. Tuttle to share updates, events and stories of interest
Donate HERE Today and Support the African American Pastoral Council

African American Pastoral Center

2121 Harrison Street Suite 100

Oakland, CA 94612