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How to Celebrate Black Catholic History Month

Every November, the church celebrates Black Catholic History Month.

This tradition began July 24, 1990, when the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States voted to designate November as the celebratory month. This month was chosen because many important dates for Catholics of African descent were within November. These dates include:

  • All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1): honors all saints, including those of African descent
  • All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2): remembering all souls of the faithfully departed
  • St. Martin de Porres Feast Day (Nov. 3): a saint of African descent – patron of social justice, racial harmony and mixed-race people
  • Birth of St. Augustine (Nov. 13): the first doctor of the church from North Africa

There are many ways Catholics can celebrate this historic month in their diocese and community. Read on to learn how to celebrate Black Catholic History Month.

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Celebrate Mass at a Black Catholic Church

Mass brings Catholics together all over the world. During November, spend a Sunday celebrating Mass at a historically Black parish in your community.

To find a Black Catholic parish in your neighborhood, visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website or reach out to your local diocese. You can also incorporate music from “Lead Me, Guide Me,” the Black Catholic Hymnal.

Prayer

There are many different prayers for the faithful during Black Catholic History Month. Consider these prayers at your home parish, in quiet time at home, and with the ministries you’re involved in.

Prayer is not only a time for us to talk to God. It is also an opportunity to connect with your community. These prayers are a great way to build a closer bond with family, friends, and parishioners.

Support Black Catholics on the Path to Sainthood

While there are no canonized Black saints, there are six African Americans currently on the path to sainthood. November is a proper time for Catholics to learn more about these holy people and support their cause. Black Catholics on the path to sainthood include:

Learn about their life, pray for their cause, and share their story with fellow Catholics throughout November and all year long. You can also watch a documentary on these holy people.

Listen to Black Catholic Stories

Dr. Ansel Augustine, a renowned Catholic speaker, sheds light on the “Black Catholic experience.”

This is one of many examples of Black Catholics sharing their stories. There are more stories available online, including:

November celebrates the contributions of Black Catholics to the faith and is a time to share the stories of this community. May we always be open to hearing the stories of our brothers and sisters.

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