Annual day of prayer celebrates African-American, African families

Annual day of prayer celebrates African-American, African families

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The Brooks family — Joe, Desiree, Gabrielle and Alyssa — pray after arriving for Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Alexandria, Va., in this 2011 file photo. According to the first study of its kind, Black Catholics in the U.S. are highly engaged with their religion and parish life, more so than white Catholics. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

The Brooks family — Joe, Desiree, Gabrielle and Alyssa — pray after arriving for Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, Va., in this 2011 file photo. According to the first study of its kind, Black Catholics in the U.S. are highly engaged with their religion and parish life, more so than white Catholics. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

NEW YORK (CNS) — The 25th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family will be celebrated Feb. 2, the first Sunday of Black History Month.

This year’s theme is a quote from St. Augustine of Hippo, once of the Catholic Church’s black saints: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

Visitors to the website of Solid Ground, www.solidgroundministry.com, will find a brochure, a prayer, and further information to share with others.

Solid Ground is a Franciscan ministry with African-American families, headed by Franciscan Father James E. Goode, its pastoral director. Father Goode, one of the nation’s leading African-American Catholic evangelists, is also the founder and president of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life.

The National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family Resource Aid contains a catechetical reflection by Therese Wilson Favors, former director of African-American ministries for the Baltimore Archdiocese; a prayer composed by Father Goode; and some suggested activities to celebrate the day.

In addition to Solid Ground, at least 16 other groups are supporters of the special day of prayer, including the Blessed Sacrament Sisters, the Josephites and several other men’s and women’s religious orders; the Black and Indian Mission Office; the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary; the National Black Catholic Congress and several other national black Catholic organizations; and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church.

The Black Catholic Ministry Office for the Diocese of Phoenix invites Catholics of all ethnicities to join in its regular Unity Mass, held the third Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. at St. Pius X Church in Phoenix.

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