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Catholic Negro American Mission Board


The Catholic Negro American Mission Board is a Catholic charity that was established in New York City in 1907, serves to build the Church in African American communities. The CNAMB has been part of the Black and Indian Mission Office family in Washington, D.C., since 1980.

The CNAMB provides for the needs of parish-based religious education programs serving African Americans. It also helps schools recruit and support dedicated teachers, religious and lay alike.

Principals and pastors tell us that the financial support received from your generous support of the CNAMB often makes the difference between their school staying open to spread the Gospel – and becoming yet another statistic of a school that served the poor that just couldn’t make it.


From its beginning, the Catholic Negro American Mission Board has provided for the needs of African American Catholics. Spreading the Gospel among African American communities was a chief concern of then-Father John Carroll, at the time Prefect Apostolic of the United States and later to become the nation’s first bishop.

The monetary costs of Catholic ministry in the face of segregation and discrimination became too much for the Commission for the Catholic Missions and its national collection to handle on its own. To raise the profile of evangelization work by and among African American Catholics, the bishops elected to establish the Catholic Negro American Mission Board at New York City in 1907.

The CNAMB was relocated to the Black and Indian Mission Office in Washington, D.C. in 1980. Msgr. Paul A. Lenz became its fourth Executive Director upon this transition.

Historical Resources


Marquette University eArchives

Mark G. Thiel, C.A. (Certified Archivist), Marquette  University who manages the Black and Indian Mission Office  records at work in the John P. Raynor, S.J., Library assisting researchers.

Archival material can be found at the Marquette University e-Archives