Let ’em Speak On It: Notable Quotes From Black Catholics 4 – 1984 Pastoral Letter from U.S. Black Catholic Bishops (Black Catholic History Month 2019)
This is the fourth edition of a new article-series I am starting called “Let ’em Speak On It: Notable Quotes From Black Catholics.” This series is simply posts featuring a quote said either by or at least in relation to Black/African Catholics and Black Catholicism. The quote itself maybe be from a historical figure/document or a current one. Because Black Catholics come at the Faith from a unique and important angle it’s only right if you “let ’em speak on it.” Sometimes I might offer a brief thought on the featured quote, and sometimes I will simply it speak for itself. At the end I will add a small bio about who the person/document is and provide a link or two to more information. All throughout Black Catholic History Month I have posted them every Monday, and this is the final quote during this month’s celebration.
This week’s quote comes from a 1984 document put out by a collective of the American Black Catholic bishops at the time on the Black Catholic community and evangelization.
“There is a richness in our Black experience that we must share with the entire People of God. These are gifts that are part of an African past. For we have heard with Black ears and we have seen with Black eyes and we have understood with an African heart. We thank God for the gifts of our Catholic faith and we give thanks for the gifts of our Blackness. In all humility we turn to the whole Church that it might share our gifts so that ‘our joy may be complete.’“
–What We Have Seen and Heard: A Pastoral Letter on Evangelization From the Black Bishops of the United States (1984)
Background on document
“On September 9, 1984 the ten Black Bishops of the Unites States published this document as a witness to the Black community. The Bishops sought to explain that evangelization is both a call and a response, it means not only preaching but also witnessing. The first part of the document is about the shared gifts rooted in the African heritage. In part two they discussed the obstacles to evangelization that still must be overcome.” (USCCB)
Recent Black Catholic History Month 2019 Posts
This week’s featured Black saint/holy one: Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman
Last week’s Let ’em Speak On It: Quote form Fr. Cyprian Davis
Latest featured Black Catholic interview: CTU’s 2016 Interview With Dr. Shannen Dee Williams on History of Black Catholic Sisters
Images taken from document. Fair Use.