African American Affairs E-Newsletter
  March 2017 
See the five things to know right now! 


Donna Grimes
Assistant Director of African American Catholics

We have entered again into the 40 days of the holy season of Lent, a time of grace when we focus on deepening our relationship with the Lord by engaging in heightened efforts to root sin out of our lives. The call of the season of Lent speaks deeply to the heart of each and every member of the faithful because we all desire a stronger relationship with the Lord.
We all desire to become what God has created us to be. However, Lent dares to ask us the question: "Are we willing to undertake the ongoing conversion in our lives that is required to constantly be growing in our relationship with the Lord?" While in a heightened manner during its duration the season of Lent places before us the call to engage in prayer, fasting and assisting the needy (alms-giving), Lent really desires to engender within us these practices throughout the rest of our year, and really throughout the rest of our lives.
Also, central to the season of Lent is engaging in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a Sacrament that showers us with God's mercy and forgiveness. The focus of Lent is not only the 40 days of its duration, but in a greater way each and every day of the rest of our lives. Lent reminds us that we must always be seeking to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, who suffered, died and rose again to set us free from the power of sin and death. Faithfully keeping the season of Lent will assist us in overcoming any tendencies in our lives toward pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth, as well as many other sinful practices, such as racism, acts of violence and unbridled individualism.
Therefore, it is my sincere hope that we will not simply endure these days of the season of Lent, but that we will truly be transformed by our prayer and penitential practices during these days of Lent.
May you know God's blessings in these holy days of Lent. Click here for the PDF of the Lenten Reflection. 

Response to February 2 National Call Re: Bishop's Task Force Recommendations

More than two dozen callers heard about the local Church is addressing grave threats to African American lives. There are encouraging and innovative actions happening in Arlington, Austin, Birmingham, Camden, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Lake Charles, Philadelphia, San Bernardino, South Bend-Fort Wayne and Wilmington (arch)dioceses.  A full report will become available on the Resources page soon.

Find out what happened at the first U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements

Find out what happened at the first U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements, which Pope Francis hopes will, "help people build bridges that can overcome the walls of exclusion, indifference, racism and intolerance." February 16-19, 600+ grass roots leaders, two dozen Catholic bishops and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson convened in the Diocese of Stockton.  Read all about #USWMPM. Also see Pope Francis's welcome address and the closing Resolution , with each point delivered alternately in English and Spanish. 

Register for The National Black Catholic Congress XII


Register today for The National Black Catholic Black Catholic Congress XII this July 6-9, 2017, Orlando, FL.  Enable the continuation of this historic mobilization of and for Black Catholics. 


Pre-Congress Conversations with African Descendant Bishops and Young Adults on July 5 in Orlando, FL 

If you anticipate participants from your diocese ages 20-39 attending Congress or available to attend this pre-Congress event, please contact Donna Grimes at or Sr. Joanna Okereke at

 asap for additional details.  Receiving your response by March 31 will help us plan adequately.  There is no charge for this event.

US Conference of Catholic Bishops - 
Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church (SCDC)
Donna Toliver Grimes, Assistant Director 
Subcommittee on African American Affairs
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