Black History Month


February is Black History Month and this week provided us with several opportunities to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans across the history of our nation.

On Tuesday, students and faculty chaperons headed north for a Black Catholic History tour of Baltimore. Organized by theology teacher David Owens, this tour included a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption (the first Basilica in the United States and the site of Bishop Denis J. O'Connell's ordination on May 26, 1877); the first Black Catholic parish in the United States (St. Francis Xavier); St Mary's Spiritual Center & Historical Site (first Catholic seminary in the United States and home of Mother Seton); and Mount Providence Convent where Mr. Owen's 7th grade teacher, Sister Dinorah Soto, greeted the group.

Yesterday, Father Michael Thompson, S.S.J, the Superior General of the Josephites, a religious community dedicated to serving African-American Catholics, concelebrated Mass with our Father Gregory Thompson. Mass was followed by a celebration of African American history and culture that included a visit and remarks from Mr. William Fauntroy, an original Tuskegee Airman. Mr. Fauntroy's remarks were followed by student musical performances, poetry readings, dances and games all designed into collective celebration of African-American culture and achievement.

I had a few opportunities in the days leading up to yesterday's presentation to observe the student organizers pouring over the details of the event. They were focused with great pride of ownership of the event and the appreciation of their classmates was evident when they stepped up to the stage to perform.

Please ask your students about Mass and the Assembly -- this is a great opportunity to extend the learning that took place yesterday.
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