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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

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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
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Living Mission Interculturally: Faith, Culture, and the Renewal of Praxis
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Anthony Gittins, CSSp
NBCC Spotlight
 St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington, DC: These Seminarians have a lot going on!
 Phyllis Johnson Receives Award
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 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
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 31st Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast
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January 21- 22, 2016
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 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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 Pope Francis, in Kenya, emphasizes missionary discipleship, ecological concern
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 2015 Centennial Celebration Comes to a Close at St. Joseph Catholic Church in “Old Town” Alexandria
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 Lord, Make Us Channels of Your Peace
 Black and Catholic In The U.S.
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NBCC Spotlight Article

Brooklyn Castle
The True Story of America's Best Chess Team

Brooklyn Castle: The True Story of America's Best Chess TeamBrooklyn Castle is a documentary about five members of the chess team at I.S. 318, an inner-city junior high school - where more than 65% of students are from homes living below that poverty level - that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film - which has an inspiring, beautiful trailer you can watch by clicking here - follows the challenges the kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories. Ironically, the biggest obstacle thrust upon them arises not from other competitors, but from recessionary budget cuts to all the extracurricular activities at their school. Brooklyn Castle shows how the kids' dedication to chess magnifies their belief in what is possible for their lives. After all, if they can master the world's most difficult game, what can't they do?

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Spotlight Article Index

Deacon Ira E. Chase

NBCC Servant of Christ award recipient

Black Catholic Theological Symposium

Trailblazing to sainthood, the Rev. Augustus Tolton awaits canonization

My Time In Prison

Faith STILL Engaged

Preparing for Priesthood

Black Catholic from Kentucky receives Papal Award

Bishop Leonard Olivier Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Our Lady of Guadalupe/International Shrine of St. Jude & Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary Respond to Tornado Victims in Oklahoma City

Julia Greeley: Denver’s Saintly Woman

Canonization for Mother Mary Lange

Pope Benedict XVI resigns from the Papacy

Bible study drawing devotees from near and far.

Bishop Moses B. Anderson, SSE, entered eternal life on January 1, 2013, at the age of 84.

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I’m Yours: Our Wedding/Marriage Journey

Brooklyn Castle: The True Story of America's Best Chess Team

The National Black Catholic Congress Congratulates Black Catholic Leaders with Servant of Christ Award

Those who Serve: Msgr. Patrick R Wells

"FOCUS Worldwide Network"

Archdiocese of Indianapolis Day of Reflection

Dwayne D. Davis

Spotlight Article Index

Brooklyn Castle: The True Story of America's Best Chess TeamBrooklyn Castle is driven by the compelling personalities of its characters: 11-year-old prodigy Justus is already one of America's highest-rated young chess players, and yet he often chokes, stymied by the expectations of others and his uncompromising belief in his destiny; Rochelle has the potential to become the first African-American female master in the history of chess, but she struggles to find the balance between chess and academic success; charismatic leader Pobo caters to the emotional needs of his teammates, often at the expense of his own playing; shy Alexis, second-ranked in the school, sees chess as a way to get a better education and job to support his immigrant family; and Patrick, a sensitive beginner who is determined to use his modest goal of raising his chess ranking as a means to rise above his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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The triumphs of the team can be credited in large part to the brilliant chess teacher Elizabeth Spiegel and the school's Assistant Principal John Galvin, as well as the support and encouragement from their parents, but nothing would matter without the passion and time commitment the players bring to their study of the game. And while repeatedly winning is exhilarating, the team's victories go beyond a room full of trophies - through chess they learn patience and long-term planning, and the importance of analyzing the wrong or right decisions they make after the game. In essence, chess provides skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives, regardless of what profession they choose.

Brooklyn Castle: The True Story of America's Best Chess TeamThe aspirations of the players are put in jeopardy by the financial crisis. The budget for their Brooklyn school, I.S. 318, is cut by more than a million dollars and they face the possibility that they will not have the money to attend tournaments they would probably win. The budget cuts are another difficult battle that school and the team must fight, but the players have learned through playing chess that every problem has a solution if you are willing to work hard enough to find it.

Through the inspirational stories of its characters, Brooklyn Castle illustrates that the "extra" in extracurricular activities are not "extra" - they are essential to the teaching of what Principal Rubino calls "the whole child." As Patrick's story vividly demonstrates, programs like the chess team can be an indispensible way to open the door for all kinds of learning. For Justus, Patrick, Rochelle, Pobo and Alexis, chess is more than a game: it is a realm where they can transcend their reality and become kings and queens themselves. Brooklyn Castle celebrates the hard work and determination that fires these young people's pursuit of their dreams.

Brooklyn Castle will be playing in theaters around the country. Please support this important film by seeing it at a theater near you.

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