First Leading Black Bishop of Diocese in US During the 20th Century Dies

January 11, 2019 0 By BLACKCATHOLIC

This is such a great story. I never knew of Bishop Howze, but God willing I could follow in his footsteps. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

Here are a few excerpts from the article the Sun Herald did on his life:

“Bishop Emeritus Joseph Lawson Howze, the first black bishop to lead a diocese in the United States in the 20th Century, and founding bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, died Wednesday at the age of 95.”

[. . .]

“In 1987, he introduced Pope Paul II at a church meeting in the Superdome in New Orleans. He told the pope that church racism was a major hurdle to black leadership goals and evangelism in the U.S. church, Sun Herald archives show. He told the pope that many African Americans didn’t think that being black and Catholic were made for each other.

“’Black Catholics love their church, and they want to become a more significant part of its mission to evangelize and sanctify the world,’ Howze said.”

[. . .]

Howze made a lasting impact on many black Catholic high school students who met him, said Dr. Todd Coulter, who went on to become an internal medicine doctor in Pascagoula.

“’We looked up to him,” Coulter said. “He was a trailblazer for us, a hero — period. Especially for those of us who were considering the possibility of becoming a priest.'”

[. . .]

“Howze made it clear that his work was ‘the work of a priest.'”

[. . .]

“He once told the Sun Herald he judged his success as a bishop not by the number of parishioners, buildings or schools, but ‘by the salvation of souls.'”

The rest of the article is linked above.

+ Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.