November 23, 2020
In my lifetime, I’ve been able to celebrate memorable “firsts” in Black Catholic history, but always from the perspective of the double-edged sword. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, a meaningful passage for me, tells us that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” And yet for Black Catholics, that time is often long delayed.
In 1960, Pope John XXIII installed Laurean Rugambwa as the first African cardinal. In 1962, St. Martin de Porres was canonized as the first Black saint of the Americas—more than 300 years after his death. In 1966, Harold Robert Perry became the first Black U.S. bishop of the 20th century. And in 1991, the process of canonization was begun for Mother Mary Lange, OSP, the foundress of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first United States-based religious order for women of Color.
Prayerfully and always with hope, we long to be able to appreciate, celebrate and affirm the extraordinary gifts among us in a more-timely manner.Read More