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Black History Month
February 1-28, 2021
National Day of Prayer
Celebrate National Day of Prayer February 2
Catholic Parishes across America kick off Black History Month on the first Sunday of February by celebrating the National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family on Sunday February 2, 2020. The Solid Ground Franciscan Ministry offers inspiring and uplifting prayer, reflection and family activity suggestions. Resources are available at
God of Mercy and Love we place our African American and African Families before You today. May we be proud of our history and never forget those who paid a great price for our liberation. Bless us one by one and keep our hearts and minds fixed on higher ground. Help us to live for you and not for ourselves, and may we cherish and proclaim the gift of life. Bless our parents, guardians and grandparents, relatives and friends. Give us the amazing grace to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Help us, as Your children, to live in such a way that the beauty and greatness of authentic love is reflected in all that we say and do. Give a healing anointing to those less fortunate, especially the motherless, the fatherless, the broken, the sick and the lonely. Bless our departed family members and friends. May they be led into the light of Your dwelling place where we will never grow old, where we will share the fullness of redemption and shout the victory for all eternity. This we ask in the Precious Name of Jesus, our Savior and Blessed Assurance. Amen. Holy Mary, Mother of Our Families, pray for us.
Prayer composed by FR. JIM GOODE, OFM, who in 1989 founded this National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family.
Ways to Celebrate the National Day of Prayer
- WORSHIP together at the Eucharistic Table and pray as a family on the National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family
- CELEBRATE a meal together and tell your FAMILY STORY
- SET ASIDE some time together to discuss what you are willing to stand for.
I WILL STAND FOR:
- Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and forever
- The Eucharist
- Respect Life
- Justice and Peace
- The end of racism and hate
- The end of abortion all acts of violence
- Respect for the family especially our elders
- Respect for our women and children
- Protection of our environment
- All creation
- With the poor and oppressed
- With the forgotten, unwanted and unwelcome
PERFORM A Work of Mercy
As a family, prepare and give a meal to a family in need in your Church or local community on this the National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family.
Resources for Open Wide Our Hearts
- Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism
- Abramos nuestros corazones: El incesante llamado al amor – Carta pastoral contra el racismo
- Webinar full of ideas for implementing the call of "Open Wide Our Hearts" in your community.
- Catholic Mobilizing Network recently released a new short video in honor of Black History Month highlighting 5 important lessons from the USCCB's recent pastoral letter against racism, "Open Wide Our Hearts: the Enduring Call to Love."
- Purchase print copies from the USCCB Store
- Check out the educational resources and parish resources that were created to accompany the pastoral letter against racism.
U.S. Bishops’ President Calls for Building the “Beloved Community,” Inspired by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Example
January 16, 2020
WASHINGTON — In a statement issued January 16, 2020, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “Let us honor the memory of Rev. King by returning to what he called ‘the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage.’ Let us commit ourselves once more to building his ‘beloved community,’ an America where all men and women are treated as children of God, made in his image and endowed with dignity, equality, and rights that can never be denied, no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the place they were born.” Read Archbishop José H. Gomez’s complete statement at http://www.usccb.org/news/2020/20-8.cfm
Celebrate Our Candidates for Sainthood!
There currently are six Black American Catholic candidates for sainthood.
- Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton
- Venerable Pierre Toussaint
- Servant of God Mother Mary Lange
- Venerable Mother Henriette Delille
- Servant of God Julia Greeley
- Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA
For all American Catholics they are models of holiness and service. Let us continue to pray for these candidates.