Black Catholic Ministries

African American Catholic Youth Congress Brochure


Mission Programs
Responsibilities Contact Information

He who plants and he who waters work to the same end.

1 Corinthians 3:8


To achieve the Diocesan goals of evangelization, parish renewal and vocation promotion of the more than 74,000 African-AmericanCatholics in the 45 parishes compromising the Diocese of Lafayette, Office of Black Catholics was established July 1, 1973.

For over a decade, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries has reached out to involve African-American Catholics in all facets of the Diocese of Lafayette, one of the 20 largest Dioceses nationwide.

With its dedicated and committed staff and a network of lay leaders and consultants, the Office helps African-American Catholicsdevelop a greater sense of ownership and belonging within the Roman Catholic Church.


The Office of Black Catholic Ministries is a catalyst for positive program development, strategy planning and diocesan renewal. The Office initiates, develops, sponsors, co-sponsors and promotes Black Awareness programs at parish, Diocesan and various levels within the Church and the community.

Its responsibilities include:


To fulfill its responsibilities, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries sponsors and supports several programs and activities including:


The struggles and gains of African-Americans - highlighting the leadership and leadership and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - are celebrated in January.

A Mass of Thanksgiving is held at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette. During the evening, MLK Awards are presented to lay leaders who are selected by their church parishes for outstanding community services.


More than 1,000 youngsters from as many parishes as possible spend a day learning leadership skills and attending workshops on vital teen issues. The Congress, always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, includes a Mass of Thanksgiving, prayer, song, dance and cultural celebration.

The richness and pride of Black heritage are spot-lighted at this forum. Participants represent parishes in Diocese from across Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.


They serve as a support group, sharing successes and frustrations. They act as a channel for ideas and projects to be tried and tested by the Office of Black Catholics Ministries.


A Community-Choir, epitomizing the talent of Black Catholic across the Diocese of Lafayette, was created by the Office of Black Catholic Ministries to glorify God in song.

The gospel choir represents the Diocese at different functions and events.


The Office will convene a Blue Ribbon panel of lay leadership training consultants to design and conduct seminar in our parish. Emphasis of the seminars will include self awareness, leadership skills, parish renewal, parish planning, parent-teen communication, and evangelization.

NGUZO SABA: Seven Principles

UMOJA: Unity

KUJICHAGULIA: Self-determination

UJIMA: Collective Work & Responsibility

UJAMAA: Familyhood & Cooperative Economics

NIA: Purpose

KUUMBA: Creativity

IMANI: Faith

Contact Information

Mrs. Stephanie Bernard, Director Office of Black Catholic Ministries
Ms. Catherine Jones, Secretary
Diocese of Lafayette1408 Carmel Avenue
Lafayette, LA 70501
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