Every five years, the National Black Catholic Congress is organized by a team of Ecclesial and Lay Leaders. The event, which is taking place now from July 20-23 in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., has brought together more than 3,000 Priests, Bishops, Religious and Lay Faithful representing African American communities from across the country, including four Clergy from our Diocese: Bishop Emeritus Terry Steib, S.V.D. and Fourth Bishop of Memphis; Fr. Stephan Brown, S.V.D., Pastor, St. Augustine; Fr. Johnnie Smith, Senior Priest, Retired; and Deacon Bill Davis, St. Francis of Assisi and Director Prison Ministry. Also in attendance are Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory and the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Cardinal-elect Christophe Pierre. Cardinal Gregory celebrated Mass with participants this past Friday, July 21. At a NBCC Pre-Conference Session, Cardinal Gregory and Bishop Emeritus Steib, fielded questions from a group of Black Catholic Youth with a big emphasis on the importance of Black Vocations. The NBCC seeks to enrich the Church by creating an ongoing agenda for evangelizing African Americans. Attendees are participating in talks, discussions, liturgies and Eucharistic Adoration. Many sessions are sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Washington. As Bishop Emeritus Steib says, “God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good!”

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