Jubilee Year for the NBCCC
The jubilee year for the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) is a milestone that will be etched in history, hopefully, to tell our story for many years to come.
It is a story that makes my soul look back, Sankofa, and wonder how we made it this far. With African wisdom this organization must now continue to go back and reclaim what is authentically Black and truly Catholic and celebrate what is ours alone to celebrate.
There are three major components to this Jubilee year that awaken my soul.
We Are Still Standing on Holy Ground.
At the age of fifty, we now have the clarity of ancestors. Women and men called by name August Tolton, Henriette Delille, Pierre Toussaint, Frs. Cyprian Davis, OSB, Bede Abrams, OFMConv., Sr. Thea Boman FSPA, and the list of fifty years of Black religious and Memorials of Black ordinations continues.
There is now a fifty year echo that matches a fifty year heart beat that moves us to not to forget where we come from, while remembereing where we are going and by whom we have been called.
We are now given the moment we are living in and the vision for the future of our people. It is work to build up of our people, love our people and serve our people. It is the sacrifice for our people. It is the liberation of Christ who spoke about when he know the hour had come for him as he was to go back to the Father. The evening meal was in progress and Jesus got up from the meal and took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He poured water into a basin and began to was his disciples’ feet. (John 13:1 – 17)
Are we Black Catholics ready and willing to make the sacrifice? After fifty, the Lord hopes to hear our “Amen!”
As we take off what is of no use to God. We need to talk less about the sin of racism (not our issue) as Black people and more about building the Black community, loving God’s Black people, serving God’s Black people, and making the sacrifice for God’s Black people.
We still need to be agents for change in the 21st century.
We Are Still Standing on Black,
Pope Paul VI encouraged us as Black people to share our gifts and talents with the church. However psalm 137 says: by the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept because we remember Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forge thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand withered.
There is the constant yearning of Black Americans to connect to the DNA which was planted in us from God. However there is tug of war (from the institutions) that demands that we surrender our Black Card (our culture, language, spirituality, psychology, theology, etc) in order to be accepted and embraced. It is this inner struggle for most of us that asks the question, how can we sing our song in a strange land when the land does not and will not accept nor embrace who I am and whose I am? If we forget, then let us wither. Have we withered or have we blossomed in the last fifty years? We must not be afraid and we must be aware of those who surrendered their card. we must answer this God as a people prepared to be buried with the truth.
We Are Still Overcoming !!!
We must take back what is ours. In order to take back, we must first know what belongs to us as Black people. Reclaiming our history know our history and celebrating our history. It is this Black history that can re-unite us if we love who we are and whose we are. Remembering that this gift is imbedded in the gift of freedom that brings responsibility. We must never take advantage nor abuse this gift of freedom, this gift call for us to be accountable to one another and to God. (What We Have Seen and Heard) It is a call by to God, family and community.
The leaders for tomorrow need to understand that the church omitted the mandate to invest in our people. For us to lead us.
Therefore we need the people who set in the pews to create their own leaders and work with a renewed system designed to build up Black in order to build up the catholic.
This jubilee celebration is a call from us to continue the struggle that God was pleased to begin. The struggle that started the NBCCC and NBSC. This Jubilee is a moment to re-birth to the NBCCC and NBSC. It is a moment to continue to live. This Jubilee is a testimony to the faithful that we are still here and God is not through with us yet…Fr. Roy A. Lee, PhD, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
2019 NBCCC Lifetime Achievement Award
2019 NBCCC Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Brother Roy Smith, C.S.C.
- National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus
- Pan African Roman Catholic Clergy Caucus (PARCCC)
- Black Catholic History Month (November)
- Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University, New Orleans
- National Black Catholic Seminarians Association (NBCSA)
- National Association of African American Catholic Deacons (now National Association of Black Catholic Deacons, NABCD)
- National Office for Black Catholics (NOBC)
- Black Catholic Theological Symposium
- Declaration on Racism in the Catholic Church
- Black Catholic Men of God
- Black Unity and Spiritual Togetherness (B.U.S.T.)
- National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life (NBCAL)
- Ambassadors of the Word
- Rebirth of the National Black Catholic Congress