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Black Catholic Round-up (3/23/2021)

The latest Black Catholic Round-up includes a number of stories covering anti-Black racism in Catholics, encouraging news for the cause of a Black Catholic saint, and more.

Welcome to the #BlackCatholicRoundup series, where we amplify Black Catholic news coming from other outlets. (Note: inclusion here does not necessarily indicate the BCM team's full endorsement of the story's material.)


The music of the Black Catholic Church is a rich tapestry of joy, suffering and hope.
Joyce Coleman sings the soul of a community whose faith has been tested by fire across generations, centuries, in this country. To sing such a faith is, for this white Catholic, to be filled with wonder and gratitude—beyond words, beyond speech, beyond concept.
The Best New Novel Was Written 90 Years Ago
An unearthed book by the Harlem Renaissance’s Claude McKay is a modern masterpiece.

Racism & Education

Confronting Racism in Basketball and the Jesuits: The Extraordinary Life of Georgetown’s John Thompson
John Thompson Jr.’s autobiography reflects its author’s personality: challenging, unapologetic and unsparingly acute in its observations beyond the basketball court.
After West Side School Forces 4-Year-Old To Remove His Braids, Parents Ask: Why Are We Policing Black Children’s Hair?
A parent is calling on the school to change the rules, which she says are a form of hair discrimination that teaches young Black people self-hate.
School officials at St. Francis in Cleveland accuse Catholic Youth Organization of racial bias
St. Francis was playing at St. Joan of Arc in a middle school basketball game, attendees say a referee treated St. Francis unfairly.
Black Child Ordered To Kneel And Apologize To White Headmaster
The headmaster of a Long Island Catholic school reportedly made a black, 11-year-old student kneel and give him an apology.


Devotion to Julia Greeley grows as beatification cause advances in Rome - Denver Catholic
An icon of Julia Greeley, the humble African American lay woman who received the greatest honor in the history of the Archdiocese of Denver and has been declared a Servant of God, is becoming increasingly popular as her cause for canonization […]
Venerable Augustus Tolton: A Black Priest who modeled Christ
One of the most foundational books ever written on Black Catholicism is The History of Black Catholics in the United States by Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB. Though it was written nearly three decades ago, the impressive scholarship and detail Davis

The Josephites and the Year of St. Joseph

Baltimore-based Josephites, zealous promoters of devotion to St. Joseph, elated by year dedicated to the saint - Catholic Review
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Father Fest, a former longtime pastor of St. Veronica in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore who now serves as pastor of St. Joseph in Alexandria, Va. “St. Joseph is finally getting his due.”


Changes to the parishes in Archdiocese could cost West End Catholic church their priest
‘I just can’t understand why they want to take him away’


Young People

IJP’s Jaydn Thomas selected for archdiocese elementary student award | HF Chronicle



Founder of Charleston funeral home has never forgotten 4-year-old Herbert Alonzo Brown
Grippon Boags has sought to honor the memory of Herbert Alonzo Brown over the years. The Post and Courier reported on a fountain dedication to Brown in 1999. And Boags
Catholic leaders welcome move to ditch ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ - Catholic Review
Father Raymond Harris, pastor of Holy Family in Randallstown and a member of Archbishop William E. Lori’s working group on racism, said he can’t understand why any Marylander today would want to sing a song that celebrates the Confederacy.

Fr Pfleger

In Letter To St. Sabina Community, Fr. Michael Pfleger Writes He Is Innocent Of Sexual Abuse Allegations, Criticizes Archdiocese For How Long Investigation Is Taking
The Rev. Michael Pfleger this past weekend issued a letter to the St. Sabina faith community, proclaiming he is innocent of sexual abuse allegations.