Black Catholic History

History Month

During February the month of faith, each week let us pray for the four black Catholic candidates for sainthood: Mother Henriette Delille, Mother Mary Lange, Father Augustus Tolton and Pierre Toussaint. We are blessed and grateful that today there are four black Catholic candidates for sainthood: two religious sisters, a lay person, and a priest. For all American Catholics, they are models of holiness and service.

Let us learn more about what becoming a saint involves and why we should strive to become more saintlike.

The word “saint” literally means “holy,” and, in the New Testament, “saint” referred to all who believed in Jesus Christ and followed his teachings. St. Paul often addressed his epistles to “the saints” of a particular city Ephesians 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 1:1), and the Acts of the Apostles talks about St. Peter going to visit the saints in Lydda (Acts 9:2). The assumption was that those who followed Christ had been so transformed that they were now different from other men and women and, thus, should be considered holy.

Unsung Heroes in Black History

Dorothy Height

heightIn 2010 the world lost one of its best, with the death of civil rights activist, Dorothy Height. Among many of Ms. Height’s colleagues were Dr Martin Luther-King Jr and Rosa Parks. While her passing evoked sadness, many celebrated her life in recognition of her ardent selflessness.

Phillis Wheatley

phillisYou may not see Phillis Wheatley’s books at a Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, but this writer paved the way for every other one on this list. As the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman to make a living from her passion, Wheatley’s “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral” garnered international attention in England and America when it was published in 1773.

Sojourner Truth

sojounA preacher, gender and racial equality activist born into slavery, Sojourner Truth spread the word of God and equality throughout her lifetime. She is best known for her 1851 speech titled, ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’

Terri Sewell

terriA Democrat, Terri Sewell is the representative in Congress for Alabama’s 7th district. She is an accomplished attorney and was educated at Princeton, Harvard and Oxford University. Sewell was the first African-American woman elected to represent Alabama in Congress.

Toni Morrison

toniChances are, if you’re a writer or consider yourself even close to one, you’ve been inspired by Toni Morrison. The Pulitzer Prize-winning storyteller is known for famous works, including “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye,” and is also a Nobel Prize recipient.

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