The AAPC Newsletter, July 2023 Volume 1, Issue I

Introducing the African American Pastoral Center

A Message from Dr. Chiquita T. Tuttle,

Coordinator, African American Pastoral Center

I am delighted to begin the work of building the African American Pastoral Center (AAPC) in the Diocese of Oakland. This Center is an outcome of the Racial Justice Task Force and the work of many African American Catholics who deserve the recognition for their contributions and gift of worship to the Catholic Church. We are to be acknowledged as this is our culture and our spirituality.

I want to acknowledge all of those who contributed to this effort, particularly The Racial Justice Task Force, and the parishioners from Saint Benedict, Saint Columba, and Saint Patrick's church congregations. Collectively we will develop a center that is representative of being Black and Catholic. I look forward to your support, participation and contributions to this effort.

Our Logo: The Baobab Tree

The Baobab tree was selected for its endurance, life and positivity where little else can thrive. It produces flowers that can be used for many sources, and its bark is fire resistant and used for making cloth and rope. It absorbs and retains water and produces nutrient and dense fruit. Its leaves are excellent in protein, minerals and vitamins A and C. African Americans have endured many long years of racism, unfair treatment and struggled for survival, yet they endured. This tree is representative of our struggles and survival. The Baobab tree is also known as the "Tree of Life". The longest living baobab tree is around 1,275 years old. One in South Africa was dated at around 6000 years old. There are nine species. Six are native to Madagascar, two native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one native to Australia.

Why Are We Here?

“ What does it mean to be black and Catholic, it means that I come to my church fully functioning, I bring myself, my black self, all that I am, all that I have, and all that I hope to become, I bring my history, my traditions, my experience, my culture, my African-American song and dance and gestures and movement and teaching and preaching and healing and responsibility – as a gift to the Church.” (Sister Thea Bowman).  

We will develop our programming aligning them with the National Black Catholic Congress Pastoral Plan while incorporating area specific needs based on dialogue through convening listening sessions with our AA Catholic community. Programming will include learning sessions, discussions of theology, Catholic church teachings and faith sharing, faith formation, and evangelization.

Women And Men On The Road To Sainthood

Venerable Pierre Toussaint

Venerable Sr. Henriette DeLille

Servant of God Mother Mary Lange

Venerable Fr. Augustus tolton

Servant of God Julia Greeley

Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman

Facts About Us

  • There are 3 million Catholic African Americans in the United States
  • 3 Parishes in the Diocese of Oakland identify as Black: St. Benedict, St. Columba and St. Patricks
  • There are 47.2 million African Americans nationally - African Americans represent 12.9% of the total U.S. Population
  • 798 churches are considered predominantly African American Roman Catholic parishes
  • 76% of African American Catholics are in predominantly white parishes—24% are in predominantly Black parishes
  • There are 11 living African American Bishops
  • One African American Cardinal
  • One Archbishop
  • 250 African American priest
  • 537 African American Deacons
  • 400 African American Religious Sisters
  • 50 African American Religious Brothers
  • Of the 9308 students in Oaklands Diocesan Catholic schools, 688
  • ( 7.39%) identify as African American

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