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National Black Catholic Congress seeking information from U.S. Black seminarians

Know a Black seminarian? The National Black Catholic Congress and National Black Catholic Seminarians Association would like to as well.

The National Black Catholic Congress, continuing its longstanding advocacy for Black vocations, is forming a poster and putting out a call to all Black seminarians in the United States.

The initiative was hinted at in the NBCC’s latest quarterly email, which included a list of members of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association (NBCSA)—alongside a picture of Josephite seminarians at the Knights of Peter Claver headquarters in New Orleans.

The NBCC also published this week its first non-webinar video in nearly a year, a vocations appeal from Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, vice-president of the NBCC board of directors.

Founded in 1987 by the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators (NABCA), the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC), and the National Black Sisters Conference (NBSC), the NBCC has been promoting Black vocations in various outlets since its inception.

This latest push comes a little over a decade since their inaugural Vocations Symposium in 2010.

At that event, Black clergy, sisters, and young adults from around the country gathered at the University of Notre Dame for a series of talks, liturgies, and panel discussions concerning the nature and future of Black vocations.

(The youth panelists included the now-Drs. Steven Battin of Notre Dame, Andrew L. Prevot of Boston College, and the recently-ordained Fr Ajani Gibson of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.)

While an event of that kind has not been held since, the new vocations call could be the first step in that direction—with the need for Black priests, brothers, and sisters perhaps greater now than ever.

Black seminarians are asked to submit their headshot and mailing address to NBCC Executive Director Valerie Washington at

Those who are not members of the NBCSA are asked to contact President Cursey Calais, SSJ at for more information.

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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