A group of Black Catholics from the Diocese of Toledo will travel to Indianapolis later this month to celebrate their faith with thousands of others at the National Black Catholic Congress XI.
Derricka Drake of Detroit raises her hand in the air during a song of praise following Communion during the July 15 closing Mass at the 10th National Black Catholic Congress in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2007. (CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)
Held every five years since 1987, the Congress brings several thousand Black Catholics together from across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean to discuss the accomplishments of and challenges encountered by Black Catholics in society and in the church.
The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) is an umbrella of support for organizations that share the same purpose of providing guidance to African-American Roman Catholics. This year’s Congress is to be held July 19-21 with the theme, “Faith Engaged: Empower. Equip. Evangelize.”
The NBCC will present results from the “2011 National Black Catholic Survey,” conducted last July by the University of Notre Dame, and a pastoral action plan will be approved for outreach to African-American Catholics by dioceses, parishes and groups around the United States.
Many other speakers, workshops, seminars, liturgies and networking events round out the three-day convention.
Thirty-five Catholic adults and youth from the Diocese of Toledo will travel to the Congress this year, and the group gathered for a day of reflection in April to prepare for the experience.
“We’re excited about going and learning more to bring back to our parishes and our diocese,” says Nell Lester of Lima St. John, who has also attended three previous Congresses with her husband, Tony.
“One of the biggest things is to come together with a purpose to help evangelize other folks within the community and outside of the faith,” adds Mr. Lester.
He calls the Congress a “fantastic experience” that allows participants to gather with thousands of other Black Catholics and see “there are many people that are like us, that love the church just as much as we do.”
For more information about the Congress, visit www.nbccongress.org/congress-xi/.