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Largest Facebook group for Black Catholics hosts gathering for Black Catholic History Month

The largest group on Facebook for Black Catholics hosted a Black Catholic History month event, including trivia, testimonies, and an original litany for Black saints-to-be.

On Saturday, November 21st, the "Black & Catholic" Facebook group hosted an international and virtual celebration for Black Catholic History Month. Members from throughout the United States and Canada joined for a prayerful and uplifting event.

The group was created in November 2017 by sisters Sabine and Agenia Delouche, who wanted to fill the void in online spaces for people who identified as Catholic and Black.

The group has evolved into a space for Black Catholics and others who are personally connected to the Black Catholic experience to come together, share stories and resources, have discussions, and support each other on their journeys.

Rooted in Christ and purposefully cultivated to be a place people can grow together in holiness and friendship, the group has grown to over 2,200 members.

Saturday’s event started with breakout groups that allowed the members to introduce themselves, share what church they attend, and foster community.

Afterwards, moderator Eric Phillips educated and entertained the attendees with Black Catholic history trivia. The trivia covered Black saints, churches, music, and more.

I, Alessandra Harris, led the next segment of praise, worship, and prayer. Members played music, sang hymns, recited traditional Catholic prayers, and read Scripture.

A few members then gave testimonies about God working in their lives through the mentorship of others, helping them overcome obstacles in their lives and marriages, and inspiring them to return to the Church.

The Delouche sisters closed the evening’s festivities with a "Litany of Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood", which they wrote themselves.

When asked their experience of the event, the sisters shared their thoughts, with Sabine calling it "spiritually refreshing."

"It was deeply moving to hear others’ personal testimonies and powerful to see various generations come together for prayer and worship. Black Catholics in the Church are very much alive!"

Agenia added that she "was struck by everyone’s openness and willingness to share with one another as we celebrated the rich history of Black Catholics."

"It’s rather remarkable to see how events like this can help to not only bring people together, but to also cultivate a sense of belonging and home."

Alessandra Harris is an author, wife, mom of four, and Black Catholic who earned a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Religious Studies. Her third novel will be published in 2021.

"Litany of Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood"

by Agenia Delouche and Sabine Delouche

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Holy men and women, who by their lives exemplified an authentic witness to their Catholic faith. Pray for us.
Who have become pillars of hope for Black Catholics by their overcoming of racism and discrimination, through the grace of God.
Pray for us.

Servant of God, Sister Thea Bowman, who transcended the forces of racism and broke down cultural barriers by encouraging intercultural exchanges in the Catholic Church.
Lead us by your example.
Whose close relationship to God inspired others to encounter this Presence through her rich gospel preaching, prayer, singing, and storytelling.
Guide us.
Who, through her prayer of “live until I die” and the celebration of her culture and life inspires us today to live a culture of life.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

Servant of God, Julia Greeley, whose fervor in faith was evidenced by her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her parish, and the Virgin Mary.
Lead us by your example.
Who dedicated herself to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and trusted in the Eucharist as her source of nourishment and life.
Guide us.
Whose evangelization to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike led others to know God by her making God known to the poor, to children, and to all in her community.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

Servant of God, Mother Mary Lange, whose leadership led to the first religious congregation of African American women in the history of the Catholic Church.
Lead us by your example.
Whose passion for education, evangelization, and service, especially to those in the Black community, brought comfort to the sick, the orphaned, and the elderly.
Guide us.
Who, through her personal relationship with Christ, served as a vessel for His love and remained steadfast in her trust in Him, especially in the face of oppression.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

Venerable Pierre Toussaint, who humbly used God’s blessings to bless others through charitable works, service to the poor, and care for the orphaned and homeless.
Lead us by your example.
Who was a witness of God’s generosity and love, willing to risk his life in order to help others through nursing the sick and praying with those nearing death.
Guide us.
Who did not consider himself as a slave, but rather as a servant of God, and did not remain bitter but chose to live internally free each and every day.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

Venerable Henriette Delille, who adhered to the Gospel and followed the Lord by helping those in need in the midst of bearing her own crosses.
Lead us by your example.
Who persevered in her desire to nurse the sick, care for the poor, and instruct the ignorant along with other women through the founding of a Black religious congregation, despite receiving ridicule for this endeavor.
Guide us.
Whose heroic faith inspired her to believe in God, hope in God, love God, and live and die for God.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

Venerable Augustus Tolton, who faithfully answered God’s call to the priesthood, leading others closer to Christ as the first Black Catholic priest in America.
Lead us by your example.
Who spent his life ministering to Black Catholics in the midst of racial tension and opposition while serving the poor and sick, feeding the hungry, and leading his flock as a faithful shepherd.
Guide us.
Whose legacy lives on, inspiring Black Catholics to never cease in sharing the Gospel and winning souls for God through an authentic witness of their faith.
We pray for you as you pray for us.

All you holy Black men and women, whose lives remind us of the life that God calls us to each and every day by remembering who we are and whose we are. You overcame adversity and persevered through persecution, putting God first to live out a life towards sainthood. Help us to live out our own call to sainthood as we bring all we are, just as you did, as a gift to the Church.


Alessandra Harris is author of two novels and is a wife, mother of four, and co-founder of BCM. She earned degrees in Comparative Religious studies and Middle East Studies and currently studies in the Diocese of San Jose's Institute for Leadership in Ministry. She has also contributed to publications such as America Magazine, Grotto Network, and US Catholic. Her third novel is due in 2022.

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