Skip to content

Where to find a Catholic Juneteenth event (2023 edition)

listing of Catholic (and Catholic-adjacent) Juneteenth events from around the country.

The official Juneteenth flag. (Ben Haith)

Juneteenth (June 19th) will be celebrated this year throughout the United States as a federal holiday, giving Americans ample opportunity to honor the legacy—and eventual freedom—of the African Americans enslaved in state-sanctioned bondage.

For Black Catholics, the day may hold special significance, as the original Juneteenth celebrations were born from the 1865 decree known as General Order No. 3, issued in Galveston, Texas, where the last enslaved African Americans remained for some time after Lincoln's proclamation in 1863. In that same city in 1528, an enslaved Black Catholic explorer named Esteban became one of the first Africans to set foot in what would become the United States.

Below can be found a variety of events celebrating Juneteenth this year in the Catholic tradition, those organized by Catholics, as well as those being held in a Catholic venue.

(This list is not exhaustive. All the included information is subject to change and should be confirmed with event organizers. Please contact your local diocese, Black Catholic office, or a Black parish in your area for more events.)

Diocese of Arlington

Diocese of Baton Rouge

Diocese of Bridgeport

Diocese of Camden

Diocese of Charleston

  • 6/19 (virtual): Juneteenth blessing of St. John Cemetery with Bishop Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS, Fr Michael Okere, Frank Dirks, and Rovena Hazel Owens at 10am ET.
  • 6/19: Juneteenth Luncheon with Judge Arthur C. McFarland at 11:30am.

Archdiocese of Chicago

Diocese of Cleveland

  • 6/17: Juneteenth celebration at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike at 11am ET.
  • 6/19: Juneteenth Mass and with Frs Tom Fanta, Anthony Simone, and Clarence Williams, CPPS, at St. Adalbert/Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Cleveland at 10am ET. Gathering to follow.

Diocese of Davenport

Archdiocese of Detroit 

Archdiocese of Hartford

Archdiocese of Louisville

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

  • 6/17: Juneteenth Celebration with Ebony Vision and the All Saints Catholic Church Choir at Buttermilk Creek Park in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at 11am CT.
  • 6/17: Juneteenth Celebration with Marquette University and Safe & Sound at 4422 W. Leon Terrace in Milwaukee at 1pm CT.

Diocese of Nashville

  • 6/19: Juneteenth picnic at Christ the King Catholic Church in Nashville at 5:30pm CT.

Archdiocese of New Orleans

  • 6/17: Juneteenth Celebration with the Office of Black Catholic Ministries at Tuba Fats Square in New Orleans at noon CT.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Diocese of Pittsburgh

  • Juneteenth Celebration with Dr. Jonathan JeVon White at Duquesne University’s Gumberg Library in Pittsburgh at 10:30am ET.

Diocese of Richmond

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, Virginia, at 11am ET.

Diocese of San Diego

  • 6/18: Juneteenth Mass with Cardinal Robert W. McElroy at St. Rita Catholic Church in San Diego at 10am PT.

Diocese of Shreveport

  • 6/17: Juneteenth parade beginning at St Benedict the Black Catholic Church in Grambling at 11am CT. Community festival to follow.

Diocese of St. Augustine

Archdiocese of St. Louis

Archdiocese of Washington 

  • 6/18: Juneteenth Mass with Cardinal Wilton Gregory and Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr. at Mount Calvary Catholic Church in Forestville, Maryland at 10:30am ET.
  • 6/19: Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast with Dr. Barry C. Black at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Washington at 10am ET.

Diocese of Wichita

Diocese of Wilmington

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger.

Want to support the work of BCM? You have options.

a.) click to give on Donorbox

b.) click to give on Facebook



New film shares personal letters of Venerable Augustus Tolton

New film shares personal letters of Venerable Augustus Tolton

CHICAGO — A new documentary on Venerable Augustus Tolton features personal letters from the pioneering Black Catholic priest, to be shared publicly for the first time upon the film’s release in June. A private screening of “Tolton Speaks: The Life and Letters of Fr. Augustus Tolton” was held in February