Black Catholic Ministries

Celebrating the richness of our diverse gifts

We seek to celebrate the richness of our diverse gifts within the Body of Christ, promoting ongoing evangelization efforts, leadership formation and cultural awareness in addressing the diverse needs of the African American community.

Recommended Reading

On the Road to Sainthood: Leaders of African Descent

intentional prayers

Pray the rosary in recognition of Black Catholic History.

Download the Black Catholic History Rosary

Father Augustus Tolton

An excerpt from C. Vanessa White's writing

Father Augustus Tolton

Denied acceptance by every seminary in the country, America’s first black priest had to travel to Rome to answer God’s call.

I had never heard of Father Augustus Tolton until I took a course in black Catholic history at Xavier University in New Orleans. I did not know that he had ministered in Chicago (where I was from) nor of the many difficulties he had encountered as he had struggled to “answer the call” to become a Catholic priest in the United States in the late 19th century.

Tolton is known as the first American priest of African descent who identified as black (three brothers—James, Patrick, and Alexander Healy—were ordained earlier, but they identified and “passed” as white). In 2010 the Archdiocese of Chicago officially opened the process of canonization for Tolton.

Read "Augustus Tolton: Pioneer Pastor"

To find more information about Black Catholic Ministries please visit the U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee on

African American Affairs