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Featured Article: May is dedicated to Mary as the season of the beginning of new life - According to Catholic Culture.org, “The month of May is the month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady.” The dedication of the month of May to the Blessed Virgin began at the end of the 13th century as a way for the Church to Christianize secular feasts. By 1700, the members of the Jesuit Order and the Gesu Church in Rome publicly practiced the May observance (https://www.catholicculture.org). Current celebrations include a daily recitation of the rosary and the crowing of Our Lady’s statue. Read Full Story

NBCC STRUCTURE
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 May is dedicated to Mary as the season of the beginning of new life
 Confirmation: Strengthened by the Spirit, Called to Action
 Prayer For Healing Your Family And You
 Pentecost Sunday - May 15, 2016
 What the CARA Report Tells Us About Our Newest Priests
 Getting to the Heart: Gratitude, servitude and attitude
 NET Ministries Puts Youth in the Church
 No Diets! How Parents Can Help Kids Learn Healthy Eating Habits
 26 Recommended Preventive Health Services for Older Adults: the Healthy Aging Checklist
 Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers
 WORLD YOUTH DAY, Krakow-2016
 Praise Through Poetry
Publications
 Recommended Reading:
A Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
 Author Spotlight:
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
NBCC Spotlight
 The Catholic Church and The Black Lives Matter Movement: The Racial Divide in the United States Revisited
 IBCS At Xavier University
Upcoming Events
 Breaking the Silence: Confronting Race, Power & Privilege Retreat
May 7, 2016
 Domestic Violence Workshop
May 7, 2016
 14th Annual Asian and Pacific Island Catholics Marian Pilgrimage
May 7, 2016
 FREE Healing of Families Worldwide Webinar with Fr. Yozefu (Joseph) Ssemakula
May 9, 2016
 The Way Healing Retreat for Female Survivors of Abuse
May 13, 2016
 Together in God’s Love Marriage Retreat Weekend
May 13, 2016
 22nd Annual Memorial Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost
May 15, 2016
 St. Martin's Church 2016 Pentecost Concert
May 15, 2016
 Montclair’s African Heritage Day Parade
June 4, 2016
 GIVEN: the Catholic Young Women's Leadership Forum
June 7, 2016
 Interregional African American Catholic Evangelization Conference (IAACEC)
June 9, 2016
 WOMEN'S RETREAT: Finding Afresh the God of Our Longing
June 10, 2016
 Standing on the Rock, a guided retreat for Black Catholics
June 17, 2016
 “You Show Me the Path to Life”
June 26, 2016
 Xavier University of Louisiana Institute for Black Catholic Studies
June 27, 2016
 ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
In The News
 National Day of Prayer - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
 Makeup of mission dioceses reflects U.S. church’s changing demographics
 Chosen: Helping teens fall in love with the truth, beauty and joy of Christ and his Church.
 Parishes Shine in the Year of Mercy
 Will Birmingham Give Birth to National Racial Reconciliation?
 A Summary of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)
 Pittsburgh’s 2016 Juneteenth Festival & Bicentennial Event
 Why there’s hope for Catholic liturgical music
 Father Stephen Thorne to receive Gesu School award - Catholic Philly
 Request for Religious and Laity Help
 ALL NEWS STORIES
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National Day of Prayer - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Full Story


Makeup of mission dioceses reflects U.S. church’s changing demographics
Makeup of mission dioceses reflects U.S. church’s changing demographics

“The challenge is to help people to realize that we are of one faith, one baptism and that we can enrich the church and each other through our cultural diversity,” Bishop Guillory said during an interview in Beaumont. Full Story


Chosen: Helping teens fall in love with the truth, beauty and joy of Christ and his Church.
Chosen: Helping teens fall in love with the truth, beauty and joy of Christ and his Church.

The Catholic Faith for Teens, Chosen is going to change the way we pass along our previous gift of the Catholic Faith to the next generation. Designed to offer young people a life-changing experience as they journey through their Catholic faith in all its richness and vitality, the goal is nothing short of winning over the hearts of teens and making them lifelong disciples of Christ. Full Story


Parishes Shine in the Year of Mercy

Parishes Shine in the Year of MercyHarper’s Helpers Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, begun by young adults with parishioner volunteers has become a parish site to care for children and families during the Baltimore unrest. St. Peter Claver, the venerable Westside parish, was the first parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to receive an award from Catholic Charities for its service to the needy during the Year of Mercy. How active is the parish in performing Corporal Works of Mercy? Consider these groups, programs and activities. Full Story


Will Birmingham Give Birth to National Racial Reconciliation?
Will Birmingham Give Birth to National Racial Reconciliation?

The city of Birmingham is famous for its place in history as ground zero of the civil-rights movement - but a first-of-its-kind meeting of religious and civil leaders has possibly sown the seeds for a new national movement of racial reconciliation between black and white Americans. Full Story


A Summary of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)

A Summary of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)I don’t believe it’s an overstatement to say that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation,Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) is one of the most anticipated documents in the history of the Church. Amoris Laetitia is officially a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation because it is the result of not one, but two Synods on marriage and family in 2014 and 2015.

The goal of this summary is two-fold: First (and foremost), to encourage people to read the document itself. Pope Francis explicitly notes, “I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text. The greatest benefit, for families themselves and for those engaged in the family apostolate, will come if each part is read patiently and carefully” (#7). Due to the richness of the document and the potential controversy involved, I would personally emphasize this as well. Second, while I am in full support of reading the actual text patiently and carefully, there is an interesting dynamic for Catholics who want to know the content, but are faced with a barrage of news, social media, and conversation before they can read the entire 250+ page document. The summary provides actual text of the document for people to read and grapple with rather than simply settling for secular media headlines and social media status updates.

For the entire report, go to: https://focusoncampus.org/content/a-summary-of-amoris-laetitia-the-joy-of-love


Pittsburgh’s 2016 Juneteenth Festival & Bicentennial Event

Pittsburgh’s 2016 Juneteenth Festival & Bicentennial EventPittsburgh and all surrounding areas, from Jun 17th-19th, 2016, join Stop the Violence-Pittsburgh for Pittsburgh’s Juneteenth Festival and Re-enactment Parade. This year’s programming coincides with other events highlighting Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial celebration and the City’s formation. Our Juneteenth Festival is named in honor of Pittsburgh’s iconic African American leader, Martin R. Delany.

Full Story


Why there’s hope for Catholic liturgical music
Why there’s hope for Catholic liturgical music

For decades, there’s been concern in many corners of the Church that Catholic music is in crisis. The 1992 book “Why Catholics Can’t Sing” outlined a history of modern Catholic Liturgical music and a rapid shift away from traditional chants and hymns in the later part of the 20th Century. Writer Damian Thompson decried “Bad Catholic Music,” such as folk-and-jazz-inspired “worship songs” in a 2015 essay in the British publication the Catholic Herald. Full Story


Father Stephen Thorne to receive Gesu School award - Catholic Philly
Father Stephen Thorne to receive Gesu School award - Catholic Philly

The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) would like to congratulate Fr. Thorne. He is one of four black Catholic priests of the Philadelphia Archdiocese to receive the Gesu Spirit Medal on May 5 in recognition of his commitment to empowering and mentoring children who live in North Philadelphia. Full Story


Request for Religious and Laity Help

I am Fr. Theobald Mwanisawa, a Fidei Donum priest working in Tunduru Masasi Diocese of Tanzania, Africa. Tunduru Masasi Diocese undergoes the scarcity of Priests that affects the Apostolate in the Southern zone of Tanzania. The Catholics are surrounded by the Muslim people who are the majority. The Diocesan Priests from your Diocese are invited to join us in this Diocese for Clerical services. Full Story


Watch Interviews of Black Catholics speaking of their experiences concerning the Church and Civil Rights

Black Catholics speak of their experiences concerning the Church and Civil Rights

Check-out the newly posted interview by Fr. Manuel Williams, Pastor of Resurrection Catholic Mission in Montgomery AL and Resurrection parishioner, civil rights attorney and advocate Milton Davis, Esq. View conversations with Mr. Ronald Jackson, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Catholic Charities USA, Mr. Ralph McCloud, Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and Ms. Kimberly Mazyck, Relationship Manager at Catholic Relief Services. Hear reflections from Bishop John Ricard and watch Sr. Thea Bowman’s historic address to the U.S. Catholic Bishops. View Interviews


Visit WeAreSaltAndLightVisit WeAreSaltAndLight to educate your network about Catholic social teaching and tradition

Equip the community you serve with prayers, advocacy skills, success stories, information about issues that matter to people of faith and so much more “The biblical call to charity, justice and peace claims not only each believer, but each community” (USCCB, Communities of Salt and Light, 1994). Check out this fully up-to-date online clearinghouse and share it on social media!
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Light and shadows: Skin bleaching in Uganda

Living in Uganda in 2013, German photographerAnne Ackermann couldn’t ignore the sight of light-skinned women with obviously dark feet, elbows and joints. Skin lightening is a common practice among many women in Uganda, however Ackermann states, “There seems to be a strong desire for browner or fairer skin,” […] “Yet at the same time, there is shame and secrecy to it.” Full Story


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