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Featured Article: To Whom Do Black Lives Matter? Videos don’t lie - “In the age of dashboard video cameras and cell-phone-captured arrests, there is so much that we see and can’t ever unsee. Police in Staten Island putting Eric Garner in a choke hold, while he gasps, over and over, that he can’t breathe.* The Texas state trooper threatening to use his Taser on Sandra Bland (a driver he’d pulled over for the infraction of failing to signal when she changed lanes), shouting “I’m going to light you up!” Read Full Story

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September 11-13, 2015
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September 12, 2015
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 Xavier University Announces Appointment of Dr. Pamela Franco
 Light In The Darkness
 New Josephite Calendar
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October is Respect Life Month

BALTIMORE - The first Sunday in October is Respect Life Sunday, and it is also the start of the annual Respect Life Program. Catholics are urged to renew their personal commitment to defend ALL human life. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides materials to organizations to promote events during Respect for Life Month. Full Story

National Tekakwitha Conference

At the National Tekakwitha Conference (Alexandria LA)of Native American Catholics, a presentation was given entitled, “When the Saints Go Marching In! Lessons learned from Causes Past and Present,” which provides a brief canonization history and summary of notable successes and challenges in many causes pertaining to marginalized people in the Americas. The illustrated script is now available on the website of the Marquette University Archives:

Pope Francis Visit to Philadelphia

“I believe in the kindness of others, and that I must love them without fear.” This phrase, spoken by Pope Francis sets the tone for his visit on September 26-27, 2015 to Philadelphia. Special ticketing to the event is available for local persons who have experienced homelessness and poverty. For information about seating or events during the papal visit, go to:

Xavier University Announces Appointment of Dr. Pamela Franco

Dr. Pamela R. Franco was appointed Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of Xavier University of Louisiana. Franco will oversee the daily operation of the President’s Office and assist with preparation of presidential briefings for campus and community events. She will also provide support and/or leadership for special projects and committees, and investigate higher education issues.

Dr. Franco, with 20 years of experience in higher education, has held teaching positions at Tulane University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has worked in the office of academic affairs at Xavier prior to this appointment.

Congratulations to Dr. Franco and best wishes in this new endeavor.

Light In The Darkness

Light in the Darkness: The Teachings of Father James Keller, M.M., and The Christophers is a book presented by Father Jonathan Morris that deals with The Christopher movement launched during World War II by the late Fr. James Keller. Fr. Keller, a Maryknoll priest, devoted his priesthood to sparking global renewal. The book applies the teachings of Fr. Keller to the world today and brings the message of Christ in current times. For more information, visit this link at Our Sunday Visitor,

New Josephite Calendar

Back to School: it will be here before you know it. Get ready now by ordering your products online from the Josephite Pastoral Center, your place for African-American resources. The 2016 Josephite African-American History and Heritage Calendar features monthly scriptures, feast days and Holy days, Africa-American history, and new artwork. Personalization for calendars is available for purchases of 100 or more. Price: $5 *SALE PRICE UNTIL JULY 31, PRICE INCREASES AUGUST 1. Full Story

Dekarlos Blackmon to Lead International Catholic Knights

Mr. Blackmon has received two appointments: The first, as president of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights, the 27-nation network of 15 Catholic fraternal and service orders that includes the Knights of Columbus. In September, Blackmon will be officially installed for a two-year as president of the IACK at the international conference to be held in Australia. The second appointment is as the diocesan director of the Secretariat of Life, Charity and Justice. Our congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Blackmon on his future endeavors! Full Story

Aren’t We Worth More Than The Sum of Our Parts?

A new video centers around the testimony of an “ex-procurement technician” for StemExpress, LLC, the Northern California-based company whose marketing material promised Planned Parenthood affiliates “financially profitable” benefits of selling body parts harvested from aborted babies. While Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider with over 327,166 abortion reported in its 2012-2013 annual report, has denied sellingbody parts for profit - which would be a violation of federal law - (this) video provides continued evidence that the body parts harvested from aborted babies are done so with a for-profit motive. Full Story

90 Minutes in Heaven

Giving Films presents a true story based on the New York Times Best Seller, “90 Minutes in Heaven,” starring Hayden Christensen as Pastor Don Piper and Kate Bosworth as his wife, Eva, to be open September 11, 2015 in select theaters. In synopsis, Pastor Don Piper was in a fatal car accident on January 18, 1989, and was declared dead on the scene by rescue workers. He lay under a tarp for 90 minutes, dead. His soul, meanwhile, experienced a life beyond imagination - full of love, joy and ultimate bliss. States the media release, “The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life - and death - will bring encouragement to all who see it.” Full Story

Foundation Provides 300 Scholarships to Black Catholics

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) by Cherri Gregg - The Martin de Porres Foundation is hoping to boost Black Catholic attendance at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Philadelphia prior to the Papal visit. The Foundation is providing 300 scholarships to Philadelphia’s Black Catholic community to cover the cost of attendance, the goal of which is to have the Black families learn best family practices and then share with their parishes. Full Story

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse - and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions. But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups. Full Story

Summer months bring plenty of festivals, fun to Northwest Philadelphia

Whether one is of the Catholic faith or not, many in Northwest Philadelphia are gearing up for the visit of Pope Francis during the last weekend in September and the World Meeting of Families that will take place earlier in the week. The Office for Black Catholics of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the predominantly African-American churches parishes in Northwest Philadelphia are preparing for Pope Francis’ visit in September, according to Deacon William Bradley of Mount Airy, the director of the Office for Black Catholics. He has already sent information to the local parishes that it will be revival time at the Church of Gesu’s Prep Campus in North Philadelphia Monday, Sept. 21, and Tuesday, Sept. 22. Guest speakers will be Damon Owen discussing “The Theology of the Body” and couple Andrew and Terry Light talking about marital and family life. All speakers are coming to Philadelphia from Chicago. Full Story

Bishop Edward Braxton’s letter on the shooting in Charleston, SC

Once again, our country is stunned by the mass murders of innocent fellow human beings, this time in a place of worship. Once again, there are expressions of shock and outrage. Once again, some public officials are urging the enactment of reasonable laws governing the possession and use of guns in our communities. Once again, these pleas will probably go unheeded. Full Story

USCCB President Delivers Statement On Race Relations At General Assembly

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), delivered a statement on race relations at their annual Spring General Assembly, June 10. Full Story

What Catholic Writer Thomas Merton Can Teach Us About Racial Justice

Merton’s words are relevant in the wake of protests in Ferguson, New York and Baltimore, panelists said. But people of faith must do more than weep about the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, black men killed by police, the speakers suggested. Full Story

New Xavier President

New Orleans, LA - The Board of Trustees of Xavier University of Louisiana announced today that it has unanimously elected Dr. C. Reynold Verret as the university’s next president. Full Story

Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Josephites…

Superior General- Fr. Michael Thompson; Vicar General- Fr. Roderick Coates and Consultor General, Fr.Thomas Frank

Legacy of Cyprian Davis fondly remembered

The Rev. Cyprian Davis left a rich legacy for Philadelphia’s African American Catholic community. Davis, the author of “The History of Black Catholics” and “Stamped with the Image of God: African Americans as God’s Image in Black,” passed away in his sleep peacefully on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Full Story

Catholics say final farewell to Chicago’s Cardinal George

About 1,200 people packed Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral Thursday to say goodbye to the late Cardinal Francis George. The smell of incense rose into the rafters as nearly 70 Roman Catholic cardinals and bishops filed slowly into the cathedral. They were joined by top political leaders, priests and religious sisters, as well as George’s family, friends, co-workers and parishioners. The mass ended with three days of visitation, including an interfaith service and an overnight vigil Wednesday. Full Story

Student Sues Catholic High School For Failing To Combat Racial Harassment From Classmates

The family of a former student at a Madison, Wisconsin parochial high school has filed a lawsuit against the school and its two top administrators over claims of unchecked racial harassment, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Blake Broadnax, an African-American student, and his parents, Keith and Rena, allege that Edgewood High School, its president Michael Elliott, and its principal Robert Growney, failed to discipline students whose racial taunts caused Broadnax to leave the school in December 2013, the report says. From 2011 through December 2013, Broadnax was subject to repeated racial harassment and bullying, the Sentinel writes. In many cases, the defendants listed above were made aware of the incidents, but failed to take action. Full Story

US bishops, black evangelicals discuss family life on anniversary of Moynihan report

Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then Assistant Secretary of Labor, raised the alarm about the increase rates of illegitimate births among African Americans, a group of US bishops gathered with black evangelical leaders to discuss family life. Full Story

Black clergy group goes to Vatican before Pope’s visit

The Black clergy, members of PICO, an Oakland, Calif.-based religious group, sought to highlight issues of particular concern to the African-American community, including economic exclusion, racism, low wages, racism, immigration deportation and police brutality. The visit followed last month’s Year of Encounter kickoff meeting with Cardinal Oscar Rodriquez in Philadelphia. Full Story

Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says

“There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride,” the Pope told attendees of his May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse. Full Story

The #LaudatoWay: Five eco-lifestyle changes Pope Francis wants you to make

Pope Francis’ highly-anticipated environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si” (Praised Be to You) is hot off the press!

In case you haven’t had the chance to read all 184 pages of the new encyclical yet, we’ve come up with five steps you can take to follow what’s being called the #LaudatoWay - little steps we can all take to changing our ecological lifestyles. It’s named after St. Therese and her “Little Way”, which Pope Francis mentions in para. 230 of the encyclical, and to whom he has a special devotion! Full Story

Sea change’ in Catholic sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis has created a church tribunal to judge bishops who fail to protect children from sexually abusive priests, the Vatican announced Wednesday, a move long sought by abuse victims and their advocates. The new court will be part of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church’s chief watchdog. Full Story

New rector source of pride in community

The man of the hour appeared surprisingly calm as he shook outstretched hands, returned hugs and kisses, exchanged smiles while the excitement level in the building was rising. The St. Benedict Parish choir had warmed up and was ready to tear the roof off the structure, singing gospel songs, from the rich traditions of black religious music from several denominations. Full Story

An African-American Woman Reflects on the Transgender Movement

There’s no doubt that race and sex are two very different issues. Race is a social construct invented during the era of slavery. Before the European enslavement of Africans, there were no united “black people” in Africa, and there were no united “white people” in Europe. Thanks to slavery, the labels of black and white became a convenient way to continue oppression, but they are a relatively new way of identifying one’s self. Full Story

Obama tackles poverty on a panel in front of Catholic and evangelical leaders

Faith groups could change the dialogue around poverty and policy if they spoke out more powerfully, President Obama said Tuesday at a high-level conference of Catholics and evangelicals aimed at decreasing polarization around the subject. “I think it would be powerful for our faith based organizations to speak out on this in a more forceful fashion,” Obama said at a conference at Georgetown University that is gathering evangelicals and Catholics around the topic of poverty. This may sound self -interested, Obama said, acknowledging differences with Catholics and evangelicals on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. “I think there is more power to be had there, a more transformative voice that’s available around these issues.” Full Story

Haitians fear deportation from Dominican Republic as deadline looms

The Dominican government says the changes to its nationality and immigration laws aim to tackle illegal migration from neighboring Haiti. Human rights groups say the move is rooted in longstanding racism and xenophobia in the Dominican Republic towards darker-skinned Haitians. Full Story

Dear Hollywood, It’s Time To Start Making Films about Real Black Catholic Nuns

Since the 1st century, thousands upon thousands of black women and girls have professed the sacred vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Roman Catholic Church. However, the church’s longstanding practices of racial segregation and exclusion in religious life kept the global population of black Catholic sisters low and statistically insignificant in various parts of the world well into the twentieth century. Full Story

Merged congregation to mark milestone

Dr. Emmett Orr of Dayton is a third-generation Catholic. His early church closed, and his and his wife’s churches merged to become St. Benedict the Moor. In May, the church will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a thriving combined parish. It is believed to be the first Catholic church in both the state and Cincinnati Archdiocese that was built and paid for by black people for their use. Full Story

Two Atlantic City churches closing as Diocese of Camden consolidates parishes

“I would say, from my observing what has gone on in the Diocese of Camden with the mergers, it’s a very good thing for the life of the church, especially for the life of the parish,” Sullivan said. “A merge enriches a parish. A merger brings consolidated resources to the parish. A merger enables a parish to do things that it could not do because it had very limited resources.” Full Story

Papal charity to open night shelter for homeless

Among the services that homeless people around the Vatican are receiving from the charity of Pope ?Francis, will be added another one - a place to sleep. After a place for shower, a barber’s service in the ?Vatican and a hot meal at Rome’s Terminus station, the homeless will soon have a dormitory near the ?Vatican…. Full Story

Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme

For forty years as the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School-twenty-six of which were also spent as Psychiatrist in Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital-I’ve been studying people who claim to be transgender. Over that time, I’ve watched the phenomenon change and expand in remarkable ways. Full Story

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