As the time clock turned into this new decade of 2010, it became more urgently clear to me that each day matters. God gives us this time to fulfill an assignment given and most importantly, God grants the grace for each one of us to move forward. God allows new energy and creative insights to blossom and grow. And God makes it perfectly, divinely clear that there are things to be done and souls to be won. Each day matters and time cannot be wasted. Perhaps St. Paul was acutely aware of this simple yet profound insight of time as he wrote to the community of faith in Colossae … “bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. To get this done, I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength, which Christ supplies and which is at work in me. (Colossians 1:29)”
I hope that I am fulfilling some of my God- given assignment (because each day does matter) through initiatives sponsored by this office and the Board of African American Catholic Ministries. Collaborating with pastors, principals, lay leaders and so many more folks, the ministry of evangelization is pursued urging souls to grow closer to God as we hold days of prayer for the African-American Family, join the Oblate Sisters of Providence in lifting up the cause of canonization of Servant of God, Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, O.S.P., celebrate and encourage leadership and service among African-American Catholics, support our youth as they walk into their future and participate in the newly created Inter-Church Spiritual and Cultural Lenten Pilgrimage.
Indeed, each day matters thus I invite individuals and parishes to use these upcoming events as evangelization moments so that others may grow closer to God’s presence:
The National Day of Prayer for the African American Family will be held Feb. 7. Here is an opportunity for us to bring back family members who are away from the church and pray as a family. Remember there is strength and wisdom when the circle of family comes together in prayer.
The 128th Anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, will also be held Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Oblate Sisters of Providence Motherhouse, 701 Gun Road in Arbutus. This prayerful celebration is an important step in the cause of canonization of Mother Lange. Bishop Martin D. Holley, auxiliary bishop from the Archdiocese of Washington will be the celebrant.
The Annual Mother Lange Awards Banquet is scheduled for Feb. 12at Martin’s West on Dogwood Road. This is a huge black Catholic family reunion. All are welcome as we celebrate leadership, service and our youth within our parishes during Black History Month.
Harambee’s 25th anniversary – Liturgical Celebration and Youth Rally will be celebrated Feb. 13 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Gathering time is 11:30 am. Auxiliary bishop Denis J. Madden is the main celebrant for Mass, accompanied by clergy from participating parishes. All youths, Harambee Alumni and supporters of youth ministry are invited. Let’s all come out – young and old – to let our youth know how much they are loved and appreciated. For more information, call Howard Roberts at 410-258-6920.
The Inter-Church Spiritual and Cultural Lenten Pilgrimage is a new effort created and supported by many pastors of predominantly African-American parishes to offer prayerful discernment based on Scripture and the Stations of the Cross. It is a pilgrimage because we will journey to five sacred places (St. Matthew, St. Ann/ St. Wenceslaus, St. Edward, St. Peter Claver and St. Pius and All Saints Church in Baltimore). Stations of the Cross will be prayed and discussions regarding black Catholic issues and culture will be explored. Much more will be shared about this in our February columns.
Each day matters, let’s begin again to labor for the Lord, seeking ways to bring ourselves and others to God’s presence.
(For more information about the above call 410-625-8472)
Therese Wilson Favors is Director of the Office of African American catholic Ministries