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Black Catholic History Month 2022: Home

Black Catholic History Month Celebration 2022

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

Meeting in Fordham University in New York, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States voted on Tuesday, July 24, 1990 to designate November as Black Catholic History Month. November marks a time when the Church prays for all saints and souls in loving remembrance, as well as a time to recall the saints and souls of Africa and the African Diaspora. The decision to designate November as Black Catholic History Month, also depended on the fact that a number of important dates to Catholics of African descent fell within this month. Read More.

Canonization of Saints (History and Procedure) - (New Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol. 3. 2nd ed)

Canonization is a solemn declaration by the pope in which a deceased member of the faithful is proposed as a model and intercessor to the Christian faithful and venerated as a saint on the basis of having lived a life of heroic virtue or having remained faithful to God through martyrdom [W. J. Levada, "Glossary," Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2d ed. (Washington 2000)].  Read More.

There are no African American saints. A lay Catholic group seeks to change that (National Catholic Reporter. 1/7/2022, Vol. 58 Issue 7, p9-9. 3/4p)

The article offers information related to "There are no African American saints. A lay Catholic group seeks to change that" by Alejandra Molina, which appeared in the periodical "National Catholic Reporter" on January 2022, is presented. Topic includes on Ralph Moore went into St. Pius Church in West Baltimore late one night with his friends and painted the statues of Jesus and Mary black a "parting shot" before he left Catholicism. Read More.

Joint Effort to Advance Causes of Black Sainthood (Catholic Historical Review. Summer2018, Vol. 104 Issue 3, p568-569. 2p)

The article discusses the highlights of a special event held at the Saint Katharine Drexel Chapel at Xavier University of Louisiana to announce an effort to advance the canonization of Catholic African Americans Pierre Toussaint, Henriette Delille, Mary Elizabeth Lange, Augustus Tolton, and Julia Greeley. Also mentioned are the attendees at the event including members of the Joint Conference of Black Catholic Clergy, Black Sisters, and Black Catholic Seminarians, and Black Catholic Deacons. Read More.

Who Wll Be the First Black Catholic Saint From the United States? (America. Feb2021, Vol. 224 Issue 2, p14-14. 1p)

The article presents several candidates for the first African American Catholic saint from the U.S., as the canonization for African Americans becomes an initiative by the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans. Pierre Toussaint opened the first African American Catholic school in New York. Henriette Delille founded the Sisters of the Holy Family, a religious order of consecrated women. Augustus Tolton built and developed an African American Catholic parish.  Read More.

These Women May Become the First African-American Catholic Saints (Video)

An activist from Baltimore started a letter-writing campaign to Pope Francis in hope that he canonizes the first Black Catholic saints from the US.  View Video.

Source: CNN

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.

Venerable Pierre Toussaint (New Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol. 14. 2nd ed)

Former slave, hairdresser, entrepreneur, philanthropist; b. 1766, the French colony of Saint Domingue (in modern day Haiti); d. June 30, 1853, New York City. Toussaint's mother and maternal grandmother were house slaves on a plantation in the Artibonite River Valley, near Saint Marc. The owner, Pierre Bérard, a devout Catholic treated his slaves in a humane manner. 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