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 A New Year. A Renewed Resolution to Follow Christ.
 Answering the Call: Recognizing God’s call to religious life Part 2 in a series of NBCC interviews with Sr. Callista Robinson and Sr. Gayle Lwanga Crumbley
 Letter to the NBCC Editor
 Do Your Homework for This New Year’s Resolution: Going Back to School
 Know Your Drug Costs Before You Leave the Doctor’s Office
 “Be Not Afraid … the truth will set you free” - A Youth Vocations Pilgrimage
 Time Management Tips for the High School Kids
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Living Mission Interculturally: Faith, Culture, and the Renewal of Praxis
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Anthony Gittins, CSSp
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 St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington, DC: These Seminarians have a lot going on!
 Phyllis Johnson Receives Award
Upcoming Events
 Miracle Healing Service in Bel Air
January 8, 2016
 Earned Sick Leave Rally with Sen. Catherine Pugh and Del. Luke Clippinger
January 11, 2016
 Film Showing of “Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change”
January 15, 2016
 Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity - A documentary and Racial Justice Dialogue Event
January 16, 2016
 31st Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast
January 18, 2016
 National Prayer Vigil for Life
January 21- 22, 2016
 Salt & Light Ecumenical Prayer Service
January 22, 2016
 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
January 23-26, 2016
 Parish Social Ministry Regional Training Houston, TX
January 29-30, 2016
 Mid-Atlantic Congress For Pastoral Leaders
February 4-6, 2016
 National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family 2016
February 7, 2016
 Leadership Conference
February 18-21, 2016
 Presence Unltd. Meditation Retreat
February 27, 2016
 WWW: Well Women Witness! By ORACLE Religious Assn., Sr./Dr. Oralisa Martin, Founder.
February 27, 2016
 Marriage On A Lampstand
March 4-5, 2016
 Young Adult Retreat
March 4-6, 2016
 The Oblate Sisters of Providence’s Womens’ Retreat
April 9, 2016
 The Joy of the Gospel in America: A National Convocation of Catholic Leaders
July 1-4, 2017
 Congress XII
July 6-9, 2017
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 NBCC Survey: The Results Are In
 Employment Opportunity: Black Catholic Ministry Coordinator
 Pope Francis, in Kenya, emphasizes missionary discipleship, ecological concern
 Ugandan martyrs are true heroes, Pope says during visit to nation
 Love your enemies, Pope preaches in strife-torn Central African Republic
 2015 Centennial Celebration Comes to a Close at St. Joseph Catholic Church in “Old Town” Alexandria
 St. Joseph Centennial Time Capsule Presentation and Blessing
 NBCC at the National Catholic Youth Conference 2015
 Lord, Make Us Channels of Your Peace
 Black and Catholic In The U.S.
 Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015 - Nov. 20, 2016
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 Black Catholics: Chapel Facts  

A Celebration of Love and Freedom
Expressed in Art and Architecture

The Meaning of the Sculpture Program in
Our Mother of Africa Chapel

At the Annunciation, Mary accepted the angel’s invitation to become the Mother of God. Because she cooperated in giving the Redeemer to the world, the Church has taught that Mary represented the redeemed human race at that moment when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38).

Because of the Incarnation, Christ’s Passion and Death, and her assumption into heaven, Mary participates in the distribution of God’s grace by her maternal intercession to her Divine Son. It is through the life of grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that we are united in the Mystical Body of Christ and receive the spiritual resources we need to work out our eternal salvation.

Mary’s mediating role in this sacred drama is uniquely embodied in the African American experience and eloquently expressed in the sculpture program of Our Mother of Africa Chapel.

A Sacred Conversation

The statue of Our Mother of Africa holding the Christ Child faces a bas-relief in the nave, which chronicles the African-American odyssey, and draws us to the Crucified Christ in the sanctuary These three sculptural components constitute a sacra conversazione, that is a sacred conversation, in which the spectator participates with Our Mother of Africa, her Crucified Son, and the African-American children in the sacred drama enacted here.

The sacred conversation, a representation of sacred personages in a single scene rather than in separate compartments, originated in the early fifteenth century. It is derived from altarpieces composed of three separate panels hinged together. By integrating all three panels, artists achieved a new realism in representing sacred space. The practice extended to sculpture; artists reached new levels of realism in which the spectator became an active participant in the sacred conversation, as in the Our Mother of Africa Chapel.

Our Mother of Africa, holding the Christ Child, looks down upon us. She strides forward toward the narrative relief in the nave, and her Divine Son gestures for us to read the relief, which spans the African American experience from slavery to emancipation.

Our Mother of Africa Chapel -2-

Our Mother of Africa Chapel
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