Black History and the Catholic Church

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I read the letter from Rosa Harrington with interest re President Obama. There are so many people of African blood who have excelled in my church, the Catholic Church.

St. Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 in Sudan. She was “sold” as a slave and brought to Italy. She became a Christian and a Canossian sister where she served as cook, seamstress and spiritual teacher. She only died in 1947 and was declared “Saint” in 2000.


Or Henriette DeLisle, born in New Orleans in 1812. She was a freeborn black woman and founded the Holy Family Sisters. Her story is told in “Violets in the King’s Garden” by Sr. F.B. Hart.

Pierre Toussant was born in Haiti in 1766. Brought to New York City, he became a great hairdresser. He married and adopted a daughter. He was well known for his charity. Cardinal O’Connor transferred his body to rest in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The list goes on. We all can enjoy reading about one of them or all of them.

Rev. Thomas McLaughlin

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