November is Black Catholic History Month, as named by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. This year the diocesan African and African-American Commissions of the Office of Cultural Diversity kicked off the celebration with a Revival that took place at St. Martin de Porres in October.
Our decision to bring Father Arthur Cavitt to preach this year was the perfect way to help lead us into the celebration for the National Black Catholic History Month. He is a powerful preacher. As he preached for the three nights, he reminded those who came to the Revival of those black Catholics who came before them and worked so hard for us in the ministry here in the diocese.
Father Cavitt reminded us of the gift Father Roderick M. Brown, O.P., gave our diocese. In his book, "Gathering at the River: 150 Years of Black Catholic History in the Diocese of Buffalo," Father Brown explored the history on black Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo. This resource is in my office if anyone would like to borrow it.
Father Brown served as vicar for Central City from 1988 to 2002. He died on the last day of our Revival. We were saddened by this news but we also were very grateful that we were blessed to have known such a great man who had done so much good.
On the last night of the Revival, Father Cavitt, would repeat, "prayer changes things," during his preaching. During Father Brown's years in Buffalo those who have heard him preach heard him use those exact words.
It wasn't a coincidence that the Lord gave Father Cavitt those same words the very day in which He called His servant Father Brown home. He knew that all his family would be gathered at St. Martin de Porres that night. We thank God for all Father Brown has done in service to the Diocese of Buffalo. Father Cavitt himself spoke about how Father Brown had influenced his life when he met him in 1995. He was very instrumental on his pathway to his vocation and was very grateful for all that Father Brown had done. There will be a memorial Mass for Father Roderick Brown in November at St. Martin de Porres Church.
The African Commission invites you to come and join us to pray together at Holy Cross Church on Sunday, Nov. 17, as we celebrate the African Cultural Thanksgiving Bazaar with a 10 a.m. Mass that will be celebrated by Bishop Richard J. Malone at Holy Cross Parish in Buffalo. A celebration with African food and dance will follow.
We ask that you bring gifts for an auction, with proceeds going toward the Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Program. The African Choral Group, the South Sudanese Choir and the Holy Cross Choir Music will provide music.
Tuesday, Nov. 19, is the celebration Mass in honor of Our Lady of Providence at Holy Angels Church in Buffalo, at 7 p.m., followed on Saturday with a dinner dance.