The Black Catholic Ministry held its quarterly meeting on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tampa. One of the main topics on the agenda was an update on the diocesan initiative to confront racism, including the recent listening session on racism with Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and Bishop Shelton Fabre of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Racism. The listening session was followed by a workshop on racism, and a series of civil dialogues on racism, held at various parishes in the Diocese.
Another initiative that was addressed at the meeting was the plan for upcoming workshops on Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers, which will be introduced to the Diocese in the coming months. A diverse team of presenters will be trained to conduct the workshops. Members of the Black Catholic Ministry were encouraged to participate in the workshops when they occur.
The Diocese of St. Petersburg’s Black Catholic Ministry meets quarterly to review and discuss what is going on around the Diocese, share information about upcoming events, and plan future activities. The purpose of the ministry is to help connect people of African descent to one another, to connect our parishes in fellowship, to help inform the Church on matters that impact Black Catholics, and to bring awareness of the history and contributions of peoples of African descent to the Catholic Church, particularly in the United States.
Meeting time was set aside for the group to view the recording of the recent webinar “How to Disrupt Racism” by Donna Grimes, Assistant Director for African American Affairs, USCCB.
The ministry is currently working on plans to host a day of reflection on the six persons of color whose causes for canonization are in progress.