The Priesthood as an Icon of Fatherhood for the Black Community
I want to share something I posted on my Facebook social media extension way back in 2018, back when I got things started with BLACKCATHOLIC. This was a little reflection I made that has no doubt been buried under three years of posts by now. It was a little something dealing with the Catholic priesthood, fatherhood, and the Black community. It’s a small jot of an idea, food for thought for further reflection for myself and others who might run with it too. I still think it’s good. Here it is with some editing:
I had a very good convo with my priest on the article I posted earlier this week [in 2018] that touched on the issue of liturgy and black inculturation in the Mass. We also talked about how might the Church effectively reach out to Black people to get more of us into the Church.
One thing we agreed on that still sticks in my mind was the potential of the fatherhood that a Catholic priest maintains with his parish to be a powerful icon of fatherhood to the Black community, which struggles with a lack of present fathers. With so many fathers missing from the house creating the lack of the much needed male role and fostering instability – the parish priest brings stability (he will not leave his parish family, barring a reassignment, of course). The priest brings fidelity. The priest brings nourishment for both soul and body through the sacraments and through the charity he provides through the parish. The priest brings the example of a strong and committed male figure to young black boys and young girls who both need one, especially the boys. The priest brings morals and limits and challenges for the youth. The priest brings companionship and can help foster a community for all but especially a fraternity with the boys/young men to help keep them out of gangs.
I can go on and on like Erykah Badu. Plus, I think priestly celibacy frees up the priest to do all these things to the 10th degree. Not to mention the priest brings all the graces in the One Church Christ founded. Now imagine great Black Catholic men stepping up into this role! Black Men leading parishes and leading their families at home.
Then we can have more Black Saints to look to – that’s a good picture.
Cover image from here, presumably Public Domain