Africa and Diaspora (A&D) Ministry
This is the first in our series of talks designed to teach about the history and culture of Africa and the Diaspora, starting with Haiti, and the impact of the current crisis at the US border on all marginalized groups, and the wider quest for economic justice for all.
At the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Washington, DC. This is the mother church of African American Catholics in the Washington DC area. Our historic parish traces its heritage to 1858 and the efforts of a group of dedicated emancipated Black Catholics. Faced with a society that was not yet willing to put off the last vestiges of slavery and a Church that, at best, tolerated the presence of Black people in its congregation, these men and women founded a Catholic school and chapel. Our St. Augustine’s School, under the leadership of remains a source of pride and empowerment for our community. The school is dedicated to teaching faith, character, and loving service to our neighbors near and far.
Our Africa and Diaspora ministry became active in 1977 and was officially established in the early 1980s under the leadership of Ernest C. Withers, Jr. Our mission in motion continues to prioritize advocacy in policies toward Africa, evangelizing to any unchurched Africans living in Washington, and incorporating all African parishioners fully into parish life. At the behest of our ministry, St. Augustine was a pivotal leader in liberation movements, particularly the 'Free South Africa' movement. It also provided a spiritual home to, among others, an African immigrant who became our Ministry Chair and later the first President of the National Association of African Catholics in the U.S. (NAACUS).
Today, our Church with the leadership of the A&D ministry strives to further support the work of NAACUS and ACA and other initiatives unifying Diasporans around the archdiocese by confronting and engaging the critical issues of our day to ensure our survival and the growth of the human family.
Lydia Curtis, Alex Williams & Albert Gyan (Co-Chairs)
Creating opportunities to explore and discuss key issues, unique cultural experiences, realities and recommendations for the Church’s engagement with the Youth and Young Adults. A process of dialogue and encounter focused on the Church’s ministry with youth and young adults that fosters understanding and trust within and across cultural families toward a more welcoming and just community of faith. [USCCB]
“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities.” — Pope Francis
Dinner with Bp. Jerome Feudjio
"Bishop Feudjio was invited to Maryland by the African Catholic Association of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, which worked with representatives from multiple African countries to plan a liturgy that reflected traditions of Cameroon and other nations."
Maryland church offers warm welcome to African-born bishop now leading Virgin Islands diocese
Catholic Standard - Wed. Sept 8, 2021
NAACUS Memorial Prayer Service
March 9, 2020Dear Brothers and Sisters, These are very trying times. We are blessed to KNOW that our faith will see us through these times. “This too shall pass.” “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
For many of us, processing the fears and uncertainties from this pandemic, as well as dealing with the pain and grief of losing loved ones requires each one of us to be strong for one another; we should be each other's keeper. Despite lockdowns, quarantines and social isolations, WE have to be the Church and live our faith as the African Catholic Community. None of us should deal with the pain and suffering of grief alone. Let's make time to come together to celebrate the lives of the loved ones that we have lost, and to praise and give thanks to our merciful Lord and Savior for all He continues to do in our lives. Yesterday, I briefly consulted with Sr Joanna (our spiritual advisor) and also conferred with brother Paul, who shared the sad news of the bereavement suffered by our New York community. Our next line of action was to sidebar with Sis Sally and Bro Alex to have this item put on the next meetings agenda. Then, this morning we got the very sad news of the demise of our dear sis Angela… We do not have the luxury of time. We’ve got to act NOWI had shared with Sr Joanna, that we haven’t been able to make time to even give her sister a befitting farewell…. I hope you don’t begrudge me for taking this step and involving you in thinking about and planning a NAACUS memorial/funeral liturgy... Sr Joanna agreed with the recommendation to hold a virtual memorial celebration on Zoom after Easter, we could also share the recording of that celebration on our NAACUS Facebook and YouTube pages. The exact date and time will be confirmed by this weekend. My recommendation is we put together a team to work on this “liturgy” asap. I’m ready to help with the online technical support and will welcome any helping hand. I’ll appreciate your feedback.Let's keep praying and stay safe. Be blessed(AG)
Order of Service
May 3, 2020
- Welcome Address- Sally Stovall (President)
- Mrs. Angela Harris (Julian ID)
- Mrs Mary Ada Odunukwe ( Chummy ID)
- Charles Aboagye - (Bernadette & ID)
- Mary Agyiri - (Bernadette by ID)
- William Sackey - (Bernadette ID)
- Nana Kwame Kuffour Berko - (Paul & ID)
- Akwasi Addae Bonsu - (Paul ID)
- Nathaniel Kofi Yeboah - (Paul ID)
- Ernestina Serwaa Ntansah -(Alex & ID).
- Opening Greetings - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (Celebrant)
- Opening Song - UJU Praise (User ID)
- Opening Prayer: Fr. Ebuka Mbanude User ID
- 1st Reading (Wisdom 3:1-9) - Celina Okpalele (User ID)
- Responsorial Psalm 23: 1-3A, 3B4, 5, 6 - Gladys Marimbe (User ID)
- 2nd Reading Acts of the Apostles (10:34-43) - Bosco Miller (User ID)
- Gospel Acclamation: Mathew 11:25 - Gladys Marimbe (User ID)
- Gospel Reading Matthew (5:1-12a) - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (User ID)
- Homily - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (User ID)
- Prayer of the Faithful - Intercessory prayers:
- Mr Joseph Batta (Joseph Batta ID)
- Ms Mary Immaculate Takwa (Mary Takwa)
- Annunciatta of the Magnificat (Annunciatta)
- Ms Doris Galabe (ID Doris)
- Mr John Kwang (John Kwang ID)
- Dr Jackie Atang (Jackie ID)
- Dr Lucie Ngongbo (iPhone? ID)
- Song: Blessed Assurance - UJU Praise (User ID)
- Meditation – Ave Maria (audio - Bosco)
- Our Father: Lord’s Prayer - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (User ID)
- Concluding Prayer - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (User ID)
- Closing Song: Amazing Grace - UJU Praise (User ID)
- Concluding Rites/Final Blessing - Fr. Ebuka Mbanude (User ID)
11th Flagship Annual ACA Event
June 4, 2020
Dear Friends, The Coronavirus has changed life for most of the planet, as billions of people experience social isolation, loneliness and challenges. As the world faces the realities and effects related to COVID-19, I pray that we do not give up. It is important for us to continue to accompany, witness, give attentive listening, and journey with each other through phone calls, WhatsApp, or any other virtual means. It therefore gives me great joy that we can meet “Virtually” to honor the Saints of Africa. It gives me great pleasure to welcome and thank all participating from near and far and from your homes. On behalf of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Rev Fr Cornelius Ejiogu, SSJ, for his presence and inspiring homily. We also thank Fr. Denis Mandamuna for taking time off his schedule to come and assist us to honor our Catholic African ancestors. I thank in a special way Ms. Sandra Coles Bell. I thank our president Ms. Bernadette Opon, and the ACA executives. I am grateful to the Choir, for their initiatives. I thank the leaders of the various African Catholic communities, please do not give up the good work; continue to take ownership of ACA and make it grow. I encourage you to join a network of African family and friends in prayer, thereby energizing each other and fostering deep oneness with Christ. The virtual Day of Prayer for the Saints of Africa is a wonderful way to show support for our communities, especially amid this Coronavirus pandemic. There are more than 2 million Africans in the United States today. However, systematic studies on pastoral care of African Catholics in the United States such as the one conducted by Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP, show that there are still many dioceses in the United States that are still not providing pastoral care to African Catholics. They have also provided reasons why this is happening. One of the reasons is because many communities are still not organizing themselves and raising awareness within their own parishes and dioceses. I have said is repeatedly, we need to create awareness of our presence. Having strong ACA is necessary, we need it to affirm who we are. We need it for our children. We need it to reinforce our sense of belonging. We need it to strengthen our marriages and family life. Once again thank you for coming and may God bless you and your families. I ask Our Lady of Africa, for her intercession and maternal protection for the end to the Coronavirus.
Sincerely yours in Christ, Sr. Joanna Okereke, HHCJ, Assistant Director
National Day of Prayer for Mariners and the People of the Sea
The APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA
O Mary, Star of the Sea,light of every ocean, guide seafarers across all dark and stormy seas that they mayreach the haven of peace and light prepared in Him who calmed the sea.As we set forth upon the oceans of the world and cross the deserts of our time,show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb, for without your Son we are lost.Pray that we will never fail on life’s journey, that in heart and mind, in word anddeed, in days of turmoil and in days of calm, we will always look to Christ andsay, “Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?”Our Lady Star of the Sea,Pray for us. Amen