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“A Prophetic Call:” Black Catholics gather to reflect during Black Catholic History Month

The Office of Black Catholic Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver was pleased to host their first annual day of reflection after a years-long hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entitled “A Prophetic Call: Here I am Lord, Send Me,” the day of reflection brought together about 50 Catholics who are Black, as well as those who pray with them, from 12 parishes across the Archdiocese. Members of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, who hosted a lunch sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver Funeral Home at Caldwell-Kirk, were on hand to serve those gathered.

While in reflection, participants listened to God’s voice in prayer, entered into community with each other, and identified action items and pastoral concerns to report to the National Black Catholic Congress, which is preparing to host a national Congress next summer.

It was no coincidence that the day of reflection was scheduled for the beginning of November, which is Black Catholic History Month and the month in which St. Martín de Porres and Our Lady of Kibeho’s feast days and St. Augustine’s birthday fall. With so many heavenly friends interceding, the day of reflection was a huge success.

Participants gathered in prayer, discussion, and reflection all in preparation for the upcoming National Black Catholic Congress next summer. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry)

“It is always a blessing to come together,” said Kateri Joda Williams, Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry, “to share experiences and to inspire one another as we accompany each other on our faith journey.”

“I experienced a sense of roots, affirmation, and confirmation of the presence of Black Catholics in the Catholic Church,” shared Barbara Wright-Ingram, a long-time parishioner of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Denver and a discussion panelist at the day of reflection. “We reflected, remembered, and rejoiced in our Catholicity. While there were stories of the intolerance and rejection of our presence, there were more stories of how the Catholic faith has inspired and buoyed our people. I gained a renewed spirit.”

“The day of reflection was important to me,” said Hedrine Tamajong, a parishioner of Queen of Peace Parish in Aurora, “in relation to the fact that it gave me the opportunity to meet with other Black Catholics for the first time; and secondly because it reminded my of how important it is to share the love of Christ boldly as a Black Catholic.”

Hedrine Tamajong, a parishioner at Queen of Peace Parish and pictured here reading through the reflection materials, was one of the 50+ attendees at the day of reflection. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry)
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Carrying this experience with them, participants in the day of reflection will continue preparations for the national Congress hosted by the National Black Catholic Congress, a gathering hosted every five years.

“I am also excited about the NBCC,” continued Tamajong, “because it will give me the opportunity to meet others and also have moments with them on how they share the love of Jesus Christ as Black Catholics.”

“I am very excited about the upcoming Congress, said Williams. “My family and friends have attended but I have not. I am already registered and looking forward to working with the individuals who will be a part of the delegation representing the Archdiocese of Denver and Northern Colorado in July 2023!”

For more information about the National Black Catholic Congress and Black Catholic Ministry in the Archdiocese of Denver, visit https://archden.org/black-ministry/.

André Escaleira, Jr.
André Escaleira, Jr.
André Escaleira is the Digital Media Specialist for the Archdiocese of Denver. Originally from Connecticut, André moved to Denver in 2018 to work as a missionary with Christ in the City, where he served for two years.
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