November, designated as Black Catholic History Month, is a excellent opportunity to reflect on the proud and vibrant history of Black Catholics. Black Catholic Christianity flourished in the early centuries of the Church, with many notable Black saints. Numerous patristic fathers and mothers were of African descent, including people like Tertullian, Origen and Augustine. Black Catholics trace their presence in the United States to the 1500s when they were transported as slaves by mostly Catholic countries. Despite centuries of persistent abuse, enslavement, prejudice and racism from both the Church and civil society, Black Catholics have and continue to remain faithful to the faith and the church. Today, there are six United States Black Catholics on the path to sainthood. They are models of Catholic Christian fidelity to gospel values and justice despite the suffering and deaths they endured at the hands of all, especially fellow Christians.

DYK why November is designated as Black Catholic History month?

DYK the Six United States Black Catholics who are on the path to Sainthood?

DYK the Three US Black Catholic Venerables on the Path to Sainthood?

DYK the Three US Black Catholic Servants of God on the Path to Sainthood?

Reflection Questions:

Learn at least three things that can make Black Catholic History Month come alive for you.

How does your faith community celebrate Black Catholic History Month? If your faith community does not celebrate it in any way, how could you initiate some
ways in which this special month in November can be remembered and celebrated?

How could you highlight and inform your community about the six US Black Catholics on the path to sainthood whenever your community gathers? Pictures, biographies, short blurbs in bulletins or on website or on any social media, etc.?

DYK the history of Catholic and Religious Orders complicity with slavery?

DYK how religious institutions are currently addressing their historical complicity with slavery?

DYK some modern examples of how religious institutions are currently making amends for their complicity with slavery and racism?

DYK Sister Josephine Bakhita, the Patron Saint of Victims of Human Trafficking?

Do You Know Video Categories

If you want to view and reflect on other Do You Know videos, click a category below to view our archives. Categories are listed in alphabetical order.