Congratulations to the graduates of the Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program!

The Graduation Prayer Service for the Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program was held on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at All Saints Catholic Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Graduation Class of 2016 included:

Dara Attendare
Acklen Banks
Agatha Coleman
Ted Goins (presented posthumously to his widow)
Dana Kleckley
Jackie Martin Stone

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The Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program is sponsored by the Black Catholic Ministry Commission of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee (B.C.M.C.) and funded by the Black and Indian Mission Grant. The graduation program was also sponsored by the Sacred Liturgy Committee of the B.C.M.C.

The Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program enriches, engages and celebrates the traditions of the Church and addresses the reality of being Black and Catholic from a theological, spiritual, historical, social philosophical and psychological perspective as these impact contemporary pastoral practice and life. It is a program of study and formation, with emphasis on Afrocentric spirituality, to form and develop lay ministers in the Catholic Church community, who are Black or work in a Black parish.

While this program is a three-year certificate program, audit students are welcome to enroll in individual courses. Opportunities may also be available for lay leadership development regionally and nationally. The program is coordinated by Sister Callista Robinson OSF.

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History of the Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program

The Lay Leadership Program for Black Catholics in Milwaukee was founded in 1989 by the late Brother Joseph Hager, a Marist brother, who was the Director of the African American Ministry Office of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Dr. Shawnee Daniels Sykes, the fourth Director of the African American Ministry Office changed the name of the Lay Leadership Program for Black Catholics to the Lincoln and Julia Valle Lay Leadership Program.

Lincoln and Julia Valle were Black Catholic Lay People who came from Chicago in 1908, to Milwaukee to evangelize Black People. The Lincoln and Julia Valle Lay Leadership Program was discontinued in 2003 due to the lack of instructors.

The Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program began in 2007 due to the efforts of the Black Religious and Clergy of Wisconsin.

Orientation for those who are interested in becoming students in the Brother Booker Ashe Lay Ministry Program for the next semester will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 2114 N. 2nd in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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