African American Affairs E-Newsletter
  May 2018 
Dear Friends,
Peace be with you! In this newsletter you will find announcements from USCCB, news from national African American Catholic organizations and notes about emerging initiatives in which you can participate. 

Donna Toliver Grimes

Rejoice and be glad! 

Rejoice and be glad!   Pope Francis' latest apostolic exhortation on the Call to Holiness is sure to inspire and encourage. Read the text here

Faith and Culture 

Read Bishop Joseph Perry's reflection on Faith and Culture . The cause of Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton just got closer to fruition. 
Is the Church Supporting Marriage and Family Life among African American Catholics? 
Is the Church Supporting Marriage and Family Life among African American Catholics?  Our families are precious. They may be both fabulous and flawed. We pray for our loved ones, but what can be done to strengthen family life and marriage? In preparation for a national campaign to bring resources to support families, you are invited to complete a brief online survey  between April 30 - May 30, 2018.
The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) 


The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS)has served those who minister to Africans for more than 30 years. Join the community at Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans) June 25 through July 13, for one, two, or three weeks of continuing education and enrichment programs or a masters in theology program. IBCS also offers a one-week elders retreat, vacation bible school for adults and a course on the spiritual journey of African American youth. Choose from a wide array of courses. Visit for details.


The 4th National Black Catholic Women's Gathering 
The fourth National Black Catholic Women's Gathering hosted by the Black Sisters Conference will be on  July 26-28, 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Registration is open.  See the registration packet for more information. 
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) opens Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens April 26-27, 2018. 
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) opens Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens on April 26-27, 2018.  This memorial recognizes more than 4,000 persons lynched in the United States. Attend the opening ceremony, summit and visit the legacy memorial. For more information visit
Pathways to Lay Ecclesial Ministry-"Why Not You?"  

Pathways to Lay Ecclesial Ministry - "Why Not You?" According to a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA, February 2015), "There are more than 39, 600 lay ecclesial ministers (LEMs) in the United States. They are most commonly involved in religious education, sacrament preparation and/or formation; liturgy and/or music ministry or general parish administration." Nine in ten LEMs (89%) consider their ministry "a vocation, not just a job."

The report reveals this demographic distribution of LEMs: 88% self-identify as white, 9% as Hispanic and 1.6% as African American; also, 1.7% are Asian and .2% are Native American. However, only 17% of LEMs feel prepared to work in a multicultural environment. What are the implications for forming African American lay leaders? 

During the month of May contact the Assistant Director of African American Affairs ( or 202-541-3178) to discuss how your diocese prepares African Americans for service as Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

Catholic Women Preach  

Catholic Women Preach. Visit to hear uplifting lectionary-based messages from Catholic women theologians and leaders.

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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