The Office of Black Catholic Ministry in the Diocese of Providence will continue its work of building a solid foundation for leadership with the Diaspora of Black Catholics throughout Rhode Island by reaching out to inform, educate and share our rich spiritual heritage with the whole church. We will continue to celebrate our unique cultural diversity as members of the Catholic Church through evangelization. We hold ourselves accountable to our baptismal commitment to witness and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Office offers programs of educational awareness concerning Black Catholic Culture and history. Some of the programs offerings include: Kwanzaa, Kujenga (a Black Leadership retreat for African American youth), Black History Month, Annual Martin Luther King Mass, St. Martin de Porres Mass, Days of Reflection and Revival, Vacation Bible School, Essay Contest, National Black Catholic History Month Mass & Celebrations, and Retreats.
The Office of Black Catholic Ministry has a vibrant group of dedicated Advisory Board members. Through many years of personal commitment the Advisory Board members have been instrumental in supporting the Coordinator of the Black Catholic Ministry Office to provide high quality programs and events to the Catholic Communities throughout the Diocese of Providence. As long time supporters of the Black Catholic Office, the Board members have volunteered many hours of work in the development and implementation of the programs and events sponsored by the office
KUJENGA-VIONGOZI: Black Catholic Youth Leadership Retreat
Kujenga-Viongozi is the Swahili words that mean, “to build leadership.” The purpose of Kujenga-Viongozi is to develop leadership skills among youth and their families, in the Black Catholic tradition, with Christ at the center of their lives. It is an exciting retreat program that encourages high school youth to gain knowledge about the role of people of African descent in the story of the Catholic Church. Youth are encouraged to attain the skills to proclaim their Catholic faith with confidence and commitment. Kujenga-Viongozi usually takes place the end of July/beginning of August. The retreat invites youth to deepen their faith, hear inspiring speakers, attend leadership workshops, praise God in prayer and at Mass, and to meet and network with other young people in New England. Please remember these young people and their leaders in your prayers as they journey to fulfill the true meaning of Kujenga-Viongozi. While this leadership retreat experience targets Catholic youth of color, all youth are invited to attend!
Each year the Office of Black Catholic Ministry for the Diocese of Providence sponsors an Annual Essay Contest, which involves Catholic Elementary Schools throughout Rhode Island, grades 4 thru 8.
From Thursday, Sept. 15 to Saturday, Sept. 17, national Black Catholic leaders gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Mount Laurel for the annual National Association of Black Catholic Administrators.
(front row, all the way to the right is Patty January representing the Diocese of Providence)