What we're about
This organizations is established to bring together African-Americans of the Catholic faith. As a group we will check out different services at the numerous Catholic churches in the DC area. Addedly, we will have social activities, brunches, and volunteer opportunities in the Washington, DC. Today the 270 million Catholics of African descent represent almost 25% of the one billion Roman Catholics throughout the world in more than 59 countries (the count is based on millions and fractions of a million). The racial conventions used to identify 'African descent' vary throughout the world. Also not accounted for are the emerging Asian populations of African descent. You should join if you are an African American Roman Catholics, support African American Catholics, or considers yourself a friend of African American Catholics. If you seek to improve the spiritual, mental, and physical conditions of African Americans, then this is the organization for you. During the days of slavery in the United States, two slaveholding states, Maryland and Louisiana, both had a large contingent of Catholics. Archbishop of Baltimore, John Carroll, had two black servants - one free and one a slave. The Society of Jesus owned a large number of slaves who worked on the community's farms. Realizing that their properties were more profitable if rented out to tenant farmers rather that worked by slaves, the Jesuits began selling off their slaves in 1837. In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI issued a Bull, entitled In Supremo. Its main focus was against slave trading, but it also clearly condemned racial slavery: "We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples." However, the American church continued in deeds, if not in public discourse, to support slaveholding interests. Some American bishops misinterpreted In Supremo as condemning only the slave trade and not slavery itself. Bishop John England of Charleston actually wrote several letters to the Secretary of State under President Van Buren explaining that the Pope, in In Supremo, did not condemn slavery but only the slave trade. During the Civil War, American bishops continued to allow slave-owners to take communion. Pope Pius IX made no secret of his affinity for the Confederacy, and the American hierarchy was so fearful of local schisms that the bishops were reluctant to speak out on behalf of abolition. African-American Catholics eventually operated largely as segregated enclaves. They also founded separate religious orders for black nuns and priests since diocesan seminaries would not accept them. For example, they formed two separate communities of black nuns: the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829 and the Holy Family Sisters in 1842. James Augustine Healy, became the second bishop of the Diocese of Portland, Maine in 1875. His brother, Patrick Francis Healy, joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Liege, France in 1864 and became the president of Georgetown University ten years later. In 1889, Daniel Rudd, a former slave and Ohio journalist, organized the National Black Catholic Congress, the first national organization for African-American Catholic lay men. The Congress met in Washington, D.C. and discussed issues such as education, job training, and "the need for family virtues."