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Featured Article: A New Year. A Renewed Resolution to Follow Christ. - The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to examine what we hope to achieve in our lives and how much progress we have made toward its fulfillment. What we aspire to do is a reflection about who we understand ourselves to be. In mid-January, the Christmas season ends with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Christmas season focused on the unique identity of Jesus and what He intends to do. Read Full Story

NBCC STRUCTURE
 African American Catholic Bishops
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Parish Search
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Black Catholic Newsletter
 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
Publications
 Recommended Reading:
Living Mission Interculturally: Faith, Culture, and the Renewal of Praxis
 Author Spotlight:
Anthony Gittins, CSSp
NBCC Spotlight
 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
 ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
In The News
 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
 ALL NEWS STORIES
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 Black Catholic Young Adults

Why Go To Confession?

A person once asked about the need for the sacrament of confession when we can easily confess our sins directly to God. While there is some truth to this, there is something else that needs to be considered. Whenever we sin, our first response should be an immediate appeal to God for mercy and forgiveness. Repentance should be a regular part of the life of every human being, especially a believer. God is omniscient. Even when we repent in the secret of our heart, we are not telling Him anything that He doesn't already know. Rather, we are acknowledging our sin and taking responsibility for our actions and their consequences. The question that remains is whether or not this private, one to one conversation with God is enough. God does not need our repentance, we do. So God's gift of the forgiveness of sins is tailored to meet our needs.

One thing we should note is that human beings live in community and our actions affect others for good or for evil. So sin-even sin committed in private-is not a purely private matter. All of our actions have a communitarian dimension. That means our reconciliation after sin must somehow involve the community. The Sacrament of Penance provides that necessary link between the commission of sin by the individual and the reconciliation of the sinner with God and the community of believers, especially in cases involving serious or mortal sins, which require the influx of sacramental grace for forgiveness.

Did you ever notice that people usually don't question the communitarian dimensions of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders, or even Anointing of the Sick? But they always seem to question the need for an instrument, a human mediator, in the Sacrament of Penance! Why? Because confessing one's sins to another human being is difficult. It is often embarrassing. But that is part of the power of sacramental reconciliation. It makes one honest and humble before God through a human instrument-little chance for self-deception here!

The question still remains about the necessity of going to confession. Well, what does the Bible say? In St. Mark's Gospel (2:5-12), the Pharisees criticize Jesus for forgiving a man's sins. To prove that He has this authority, Jesus cures the man. The Pharisees couldn't bear the thought of a man acting as if He were God! They didn't know that Jesus was also God. As God, Jesus is unlimited in power and in St. Matthew's Gospel He shares His power and authority with His Church through St. Peter, who was just a man!

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Mt. 16:16-19).

Finally in St. John's Gospel (20:21-23), Jesus explicitly gives the disciples the Holy Spirit and the authority to forgive sins:

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Jesus gave this power to His disciples and the Church continues to make it present to the People of God. Our response to this gift should first be one of gratitude. Then we should be motivated to examine our consciences, confess our sins, be reconciled to God and our brothers and sister and discover the joy of living in God's mercy.

Article Index
What We've Seen and Heard...Black Lives Matter
The past three weeks have awakened a sleeping giant in Baltimore. For some, the incidents brought back horrible memories of a time long past.. Click for full story
We celebrate Most Reverend Fernand Cheri’s ordination
We are providing a link from you tube to the entire ordination of Bishop Fernand Cheri in New Orleans. Click for full story
Meeting Them Where They're At
As a youth minister I longed to help young men see another way. Click for full story
Now Soliciting Nominations For Participants 2015 Black Catholic Young Adult Listening Session
African American Affairs is seeking 25 Black Catholic Young Adults to help us begin to develop an approaches to effectively evangelize and cultivate leadership. Click for full story
Domestic Violence and Abuse
There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. Click for full story
Empty Shell Marriages
Sociology textbooks define Empty Shell Marriages as: A marriage in name only, where a couple continues to live under the same roof but as separate individuals. Click for full story
Must See Sermon
In this Young Adult Service, the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, a Baptist minister from Alexandria, Virginia, challenges the young and young at heart to explore their trust in God by showing how God reveals himself. Click for full story
Sunday Prayer for Teens 2014-2015
Sunday Prayer for Teens provides a great way to support a teenager’s prayer life throughout the year in a cost-effective manner. Click for full story
Dying to Self
What does it look like to be crucified with Christ? What does it mean that “I no longer live?” How do I deny myself? Click for full story
Shining her Light: Proud Young Women, Black & Yes, Catholic!
In honor of Black Catholic History Month, 13 year old Vanessa was asked by her churches BCHM Committee to share with her Parish what it means to her to be Black and Catholic. Click for full story
Vocation, a Journey to Conversion
A reflection written by Fr. Davis when he was a deacon. He was ordained to the priesthood June 2013 in New York. Click link for full story
Online Resources for Teens: lifeteen.com
Check out the these resources for teens concerning alcohol, sex, living a pure life and more Click link for full story
Examination of Conscience
Every day we must examine our reflections and take account for the mark we have left on the world. Click link for full story
The Time has Come
On June 1, 2013, seven young men of the Josephite Fathers and Brothers religious community were ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC in what was both a festive and holy occasion. Click link for full story
The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) 2013
From November 21st through November 23rd, the young Catholic church of the United States will gather in Indianapolis, Indiana to play, pray, and praise as only they know how at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). Click link for full story
The Road to Youth Ministry: Discerning God’s Call
Ministry discernment begins with a call received at baptism. This call comes from God to every baptized Christian. Some folks would like to think that God dialed the wrong number and couldn’t possibly be calling them. They are wrong. God calls all of us to mission and ministry. Click link for full story
Is Waiting Worth It?
The boundary for sex is marriage. God instructs us to wait to express our physical sexuality with another human being. He knows the power of it and knows that the best place for it to be expressed is inside of marriage. When sex happens inside of marriage it acts as a bond that keeps two people together, for life. Click link for full story
My Reflections on the National Black Catholic Congress XI
I have attended Congresses in the past as a youth. But now as a young adult, I believe I learned more from the experience. Perhaps now, as I am developing my own relationship with God, I was able to comprehend the various topics discussed in a deeper manner. Click link for full story
Reflections on Keeping Young Adults in the Catholic Church
I see the kids and teens in my own church and while they may not be on fire with their faith yet, I see that spark that will soon ignite and want so much for them to keep that spark ignited. I want them to join their church committees, be a true member. I want them to stay with their faith and profess to the world that yes we are black, we are Catholic and we are just as on fire with our faith as other Christians. Click link for full story
Words from YOUTH that attended the NBCC (National Black Catholic Congress)
Reflections from YOUTH that attended the NBCC (National Black Catholic Congress) with pictures. Click link for full story
The Princess Within: 3 Steps to Realizing Your True Identity
The attack on our feminine souls can be strong and relentless. The war on our identity can seem like a never-ending nightmare. Where can you turn to find relief? Where can you go to find the answers to who you really are? How can you begin to realize that you are beautiful and perfect, a true princess? Click link for full story
The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction
The more we learn, the better we may be able to understand the abilities and vulnerabilities of teens, and the significance of this stage for life-long mental health. Click link for full story

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