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Black Catholics On The Road To Sainthood - "Drum Majors For The Lord"

January 26, 2023

Office of Black Catholic Ministries

To kick off Black Catholic History Month, the Archdiocese of Baltimore unveiled a display of six Black sainthood candidates in its lobby at the Catholic Center in Baltimore Nov. 7.

Archbishop William E. Lori and Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries Adrienne Curry unveiled the display.

Baltimore’s own Mother Mary Lange is featured prominently. Mother Lange, who has the title “Servant of God,” is among those being considered for canonization. She is the founder of the Baltimore-based Oblate Sisters of Providence, the world’s first religious community for Black women.

Others in the display under consideration for sainthood include Sister Thea Bowman, the first African American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and Julia Greeley, known as the city of Denver’s “Angel of Charity” – both have the title Servant of God – as well as Mother Henriette Delille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, Father Augustus Tolton and Pierre Toussaint. The latter three have the title “Venerable.”

“It is important to acknowledge the contributions of the six candidates on the road to sainthood because they lived faithful, steadfast holy lives during turbulent times,” Curry said. “The six, three nuns (two founders of religious orders, a priest (the first recognized Black priest), and two lay people are models for the whole church to embrace.”

Archbishop Lori echoed Curry’s thoughts. “These are just beautiful images that should cause us to think about their life and example, and to pray earnestly for their beatification and canonization,” said Archbishop Lori of the display. “Celebrating the sanctity of these Black saints is one of the most important ways we can celebrate this important month.”

Archbishop Lori said the most important thing all Catholics can do to advance the cause to sainthood for the six is to pray for the saints and pray for intercession for “favors great and small.”

“It’s very important to the canonization process,” he said.

To read more about Black Catholic History Month, visit

Courtesy of the Catholic Review

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