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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
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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
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
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As I write this article, I am contemplating a journey that I will soon make to Washington, DC. It is a journey that I have made every year save one since 1991. Over the years I have gone with seminarians as a seminarian, with parishioners as a parish priest, with college students as a Newman chaplain, and now with high school students as a principal. The journey to which I refer is to the Right-to-Life Mass and Rally held in the nation's capital every year on January 21 and 22, to protest the most tragic of all Supreme Court decisions ever rendered, Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in our nation.

Each year the trip is a unique experience. As I have frequently emphasized with all participants, it is a pilgrimage, a journey of prayer and penance, whose ultimate purpose is to invoke the power of God to remove the scourge of legalized abortion from our land. This year the trip is especially unique because it literally comes on the heels of one of the most historically symbolic events our nation has witnessed, the inauguration of the first African-American as president of the United States of America.

And thus it is that I contemplate these two phenomena, as indeed others have, some of whose reflections have previously appeared in this newspaper. My reflections come from the perspective of an African American priest who has spent the last seventeen years working to bring African-Americans into the pro-life movement with a firm conviction that the Black community, with its unique history in America and its traditional value system, has the potential to turn the pro-abortion tide and to make America a truly pro-life country. However, the road to that particular destination is still a long and difficult one and achieving that goal will only come with perseverance, prayer, and spiritual reparation.

Why is that? To answer this question, I will attempt to express what my experience has led me to see as being the great divide, some might say chasm, that exists between the pro-life and the African American communities. The division is not based on a fundamental disagreement about the immorality and tragedy of abortion-I say this based on the responses of hundreds of African Americans who have attended pro-life conferences that my religious community has sponsored-no, the divide is at another level, a much deeper and more complex level. To this day, there is a fundamental inability for these two groups to communicate effectively with each other due to an inability to understand different sets of assumptions. Thus there exists lasting misunderstanding, frustration, and sadly mistrust.

Can the divide be overcome? I truly believe that it can, and have worked with many of both races who are committed to accomplishing this task. I believe that the key to building a bridge between the two groups lies in a mutual attempt to understand each other, to enter into the other's experience as deeply as possible, and to discover a basis for mutual respect and common ground. I would now like to offer a few examples to illustrate my point.

The election of Barack Obama has become a touchstone in reference to this problem and I think using it as an example can help us move forward. What to one group is seen as the God-given answer to prayers of many generations is seen by the other as apocalyptic disaster. Can there be a meeting of the minds between such diverse and opposite positions? It can be done, but only by genuinely entering into the other's experience.

Consider this. Lately, local public television in my home town has been running several shows about New Orleans, "the way it was." For many, these are great opportunities for nostalgia and pining for the "good ol' days!" But does everyone experience those days in the same manner? For example, I was born in 1967. I went to integrated public schools and then to the Josephite-run St. Augustine High School. I chose to go to St. Aug because I wanted to attend the best high school in New Orleans, not because it was the only option I had as an African-American male! I had opportunities in New Orleans that my parents, and certainly my grandparents, never had. I remember them describing how different and difficult things were back in "the good ol' days," and honestly, I didn't fully understand or appreciate their experiences until I grew up.

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