For the first time since 1983, the US government has created a new federal holiday.

Juneteenth, originally a regional (Texan) celebration of the emancipation of the last American chattel slaves, was signed into law yesterday after the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act passed unanimously in the Senate and overwhelmingly in the House—where one Black Catholic, Adriano Espaillat (NY) was a co-sponsor.

And while the holiday has not always been a nationwide observance among African-Americans, it has certainly gained traction in recent decades and exploded in popularity across the board since the onset of the ongoing racial reckoning.

Black Catholics in particular, like many other Black Christian groups, have celebrated the day in various regions and forms for some time, and will hold a number of events this year. Below are a few. (All times are CST.)

Today (Friday)

5:30pm: "Mass of Peace and Justice Celebrating Freedom", Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Detroit

Archdiocese of Detroit - Archdiocese of Detroit
YouTube stream here.

Saturday

9am: "#Juneteenth: Celebrate, Liberate, Educate", Diocese of Charleston

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: It’s Juneteenth! A Time to Pray, Reflect and Celebrate!. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States, with varying official recognition. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June …

10am: "Juneteenth Mass", Christ Our Light Catholic Church, Diocese of Camden

Juneteenth Mass in Cherry Hill
<p>All are welcome to the Juneteenth Mass sponsored by the Black Catholic Ministry Apostolate at the Catholic Community of Christ Our Light!</p>

10am: "Black Hidden Figures of Yesterday, Today, and Our Future Tomorrow", Sisters in the Spirit, Archdiocese of Washington

Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: SIS JUNETEENTH EVENT . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.
Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: SIS JUNETEENTH EVENT . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.
More details here.

10am: "Juneteenth Celebration", Holy Cross Catholic Church, Diocese of Raleigh

Juneteenth Family Reunion
Event - Diocese of Raleigh
YouTube link here.

7pm: "Juneteenth Freedom Day Mass", St Rita Catholic Church, Diocese of San Diego

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Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, in priesthood formation with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).


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