During February many parishes, schools and businesses will be celebrating National Black History Month. Feb. 1 is National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family. The theme chosen this year is Courage for the Step I'm On.
The National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family was founded by Father Jim Goode, OFM, in 1989. For the prayer and reflection by Father Goode and Therese Wilson Favors and information on how to celebrate this day with your family or parish visit this website.
In Father Goode's reflection he wrote, "Believing folk know that courage can become both strength for the journey and shield to combat the evil that finds its way to your address; huffing and puffing ... trying to blow you and your house down. Life challenges will lead you to pray, courage for the step you are on! For echoes of Jesus' words reverberate in our souls ... Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in Me (John 14:1)."
The past four months, I had the privilege to pray, meditate and work alongside several women and men from our African-American Catholic community to put together a Lenten Scripture Study for the Past, Present and Future of African-American Catholics. The words of Father Goode reminded me of the faith of so many of those we learn about in the history of African-American Catholics here in our diocese. The theme of the Scripture Study is "We've Come this Far by Faith."
The diocesan African-American Commission is offering this Lenten Scripture Study to all parishes who would like to have special Bible studies. At the same time those participating in the study will learn about African-American history in our diocese. This Lenten Scripture Study can also take place from the comfort of your home with your family or you can do it personally. It is available in English and in Spanish.
"We've Come this Far by Faith", includes reading the Scriptures that will be read during the weekends of Lent, meditating on the reading, a reflection from "A Gathering at the River," written by Father Roderick Brown, OP, a testimony followed by reflection questions and closes with the section called, "Taking Christ to the Street." This section challenges the participants toward action.
The Lenten Scripture Study Past, Present and Future of the African American Catholics will be an opportunity for families to pray, meditate and work together in a more united Church. Yes, we've come this far by faith and we pray that our Jesus aids and assists us, administering courage for the step you are on.
For further information contact your parish or the Office of Cultural Diversity at 716-847-2217. Information will be on the Diocese of Buffalo - Office of Cultural Diversity website.