Skip to Main Content

Black Catholic History Month 2021: Home

Black Catholic History Month Celebration 2021

Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library

The Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library welcomes all to join in the celebration of Black Catholic History Month.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact me at, or 305-899-4051.

Origins of Black Catholic History Month

The National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) of the United States voted on Tuesday, July 24, 1990 while meeting in convention at Fordham University in New York, to establish November as BLACK CATHOLIC HISTORY MONTH. The reason behind the selection of the month of November was the number of important dates to Catholics of African descent that fell within this month.  Read More.

African American Catholics in the United States (History of): New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 1. 2nd ed.)

Catholics first arrived in what is now the United States in the middle of the sixteenth century. The settlement, named in honor of St. Augustine, was made in what is now the northern part of Florida by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. These first settlers were Spanish speaking, all were Catholics, and some were white and others black.  Read More.

Bowman, Thea (New Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol. 2. 2nd ed.)

Religious sister, educator, lecturer, vocalist, evangelist; b. Bertha Bowman in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Dec. 29, 1937; d. Canton, Mississippi, March 30, 1990. In August of 1953, at the age of 15, Bowman entered the formation program of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She graduated from Viterbo College in La Crosse and then pursued ...Read More.

Federated Colored Catholics: New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 5. 2nd ed.)

A militant national organization of black Catholics that sought to eliminate discriminatory practices against African Americans especially in Catholic institutions. The key figure in its foundation was Dr. Thomas W. Turner, a black Catholic educator associated with Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. Read More.

Holy Family, Congregation of Sisters of the (New Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol. 7. 2nd ed.)

(SSF, Official Catholic Directory #1950), an African-American congregation of sisters who work among the poor and underprivileged. The congregation was founded at New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 21, 1842, by Henriette De Lisle and Juliette Gaudin, two freeborn black women, under the direction of Étienne Rousselon, vicar-general of the diocese, and with the assistance...Read More.

Knights of Peter Claver: New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 8. 2nd ed.)

A predominantly African-American Catholic fraternal organization founded Nov. 7, 1909 at Mobile, Ala., by three Black laymen (Gilbert Faustina, Frank Collins and Frank Trenier) and four Josephite fathers (Revs. Conrad F. Rebesher, John H. Dorsey, Samuel J. Kelly and Joseph P. Van Baast), and placed under the patronage of St. Peter Claver. It was incorporated on July 12, 1911. Read More.

National Black Sisters' Conference: New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 10. 2nd ed.)

Established in August 1968, the National Black Sisters' Conference (NBSC) seeks to provide ongoing support on the formation, education, and support of African-American women religious; to develop resources for the deepening of spirituality and promotion of unity and solidarity among African-American women religious; Read More.

Oblate Sisters of Providence: Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History(Vol. 4. 2nd ed.)

The Oblate Sisters of Providence, an order of black nuns, pioneered in the area of black Catholic education in America. The order was founded in Baltimore in 1828 by a group of free women of color who had fled the turmoil of slave insurrections on the French island colony of San Domingo. Elizabeth Lange, one of the order's founding members, Read More.

Xavier University of Louisiana: New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 14. 2nd ed.)

Founded in New Orleans by St. Katharine DREXEL and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (S.B.S.), Xavier University of Louisiana is the first and only historically black and Roman Catholic school of higher learning in North America.  Read More.

Phone Numbers

Circulation Desk:  305-899-3760

Reference Desk:  305-899-3772

Library Hours

Entrance doors are locked 10 minutes before closing time to allow patrons to exit the building in a timely manner.

Regular Hours:

Sunday            10:00 a.m - 10:00 p.m.

Mon. - Thurs.   7:30 a.m.  - 10:00 p.m.

Friday              7:30 a.m.  -   8:00 p.m.

Saturday          9:00 a.m.  -   8:00 p.m.

Reference Desk Hours.

 Mon. – Fri.   9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sat. & Sun.: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Additional hours information