Secretariat of Life, Charity, and Justice
Much has been happening by way of evangelization and discipleship in the Diocese of Austin. The Black apostolate celebrated the contributions of Lauren Warner, the diocesan coordinator of Black Ministry, with a Mass of Thanksgiving and luncheon this summer. Warner has begun doctoral studies in theology and education in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. The celebration was truly reflective of the Black family, loaded with food and fellowship. People from throughout the diocese, and country, participated in the fellowship opportunity.
There was a celebration of Saint Augustine of Hippo at Holy Cross Parish in the Diocese of Austin. This annual celebration recognizes not only the contributions of Saint Augustine as a bishop and doctor of the Church, but also the contributions of the People of God throughout the African diaspora on the Church in the United States. The Very Reverend Basil Aguzie was the celebrant and Deacon Don Cooper preached. The homily spoke to the perspective of Saint Augustine as a bishop, as the bishop and doctor’s strength and consolation rested in the fact that he was a brother in Christ to his brethren. Deacon Cooper, in preaching about humility, cautioned the Christian faithful to not fall victim to the pride, humorously referring to pride as the first cousin to ego. No matter what one is going through, the deacon reminded the faithful of the imperative “to trust in the Lord…because my soul is anchored in the Lord.” The Diocese of Austin reflects a wide diversity of the peoples from the continent of Africa. Such celebration clearly express a key mission of the Office of Black Ministry: to support to all matters related to the promotion of continued integration of the Black apostolate into parish and community life, and to foster activities related to the spiritual, educational, and societal well-being of Catholics of African descent.
The Diocese of Austin hosted the annual gathering of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators. The gathering featured a panel discussion with Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre of Louisville and Divine Word Bishop Emeritus Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont about the role and responsibilities of not only bishops, but also those who liaison with the Black apostolate in their respective dioceses. Bishop Emeritus Edward K. Braxton of Belleville presented a plenary keynote on moral and servant leadership for those in pastoral ministry. The support of the local community greatly enhanced the ministry offerings during this gathering. Bernadette Cay of Holy Cross Parish – the historic parish of the Black apostolate in Austin – provided for the worship space to ensure an atmosphere that was “authentically Black and truly Catholic.”