Black Catholic Ministries

The Office for Black Catholic Ministry has a reciprocal voice to the African-American Community and the Syracuse Diocese. As a representative of the diocese to the African- American Catholic Community the charge of the Ministry is Education, Evangelization, Social Justice, Family Life and Vocations.

  • Education: It is important to inform and extol the gifts and talents of the African-American Catholic Community to the diocese as a whole.
  • Evangelization: The Office for Black Catholic Ministry is responsible for evangelizing and witnessing within the African-American Community.
  • Social Justice It is through the presence of the Black Catholic Ministry that the Syracuse diocese is reminded of its role to be an advocate for the rights and dignity of its entire membership.
  • Family Life: The Office for Black Catholic Ministry helps to support and foster spiritual growth within the African-American family.
  • Vocations: Encouragement of more African-Americans to consider vocations is of extreme importance.

The Office for Black Catholic Ministry strives to fully establish itself and its members within the Syracuse Diocese through continued involvement and constant representation.

This office is to be an effective voice of the African-American Catholic Community to the church of Syracuse. Also to be an effective representative of the church to the African-American Catholic Community through collaboration and cooperation with other diocesan offices.

Advisory Committee Members: JoAnn Adjei, Patricia Blackmon, Dolores Morgan Brule, Jim Cameron, Denise Garrett, Fred Gilbeaux, Annie Hammonds, Alma Hernandez, David Linton, Juanita Nelson, Devra Schoening, Carl and Pearl Thomas, Millie Williams, Jona Putman and Malik Potter


240 E. Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 470-1463
(315) 478-4619 (fax)

Helpful websites

Suggested Readings from the Office of Black Catholic Ministry:

  • A Pilgrimage to the Canonization of Sister Bakhita, A Native of Sudan...
    by Connie Cissell / CATHOLIC SUN staff writer
  • Moving Beyond Racism: Learning to See with the Eyes of Christ Illinois Catholic Bishops Pastoral on Racism
  • History of Black Catholic in the U.S
    Written by Cyprian Davis
    The Crossroads Publishing Company
  • Brothers and Sisters to Us
    U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Racism in our Day

    Revised to include: For the Love of One Another
    United States Catholic Conference
  • What We Have Seen and Heard
    A Pastoral Letter on Evangelization From the Black Bishops of the Untied States

    St. Anthony Messenger Press

For more information on these materials, please contact OBCM at (315) 470-1463

On the Road to Sainthood:
Mother Mary Clarisse Lange, OSF, (1784-1882)

Elizabeth Clarisse Lange was the founder and the initial "Superior-General" of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Black Roman catholic order to operate in the United states. Mother Mary Lange, as she was known , opened the first school for the city’s French speaking immigrants using her inheritance in spite of strong attempts to discourage Black education in antebellum Maryland. Mother Mary’s persistent service to her church and help to educationally deprived won approbation from Rome under Pope Gregory XVII to organize the Oblate Sisters of Providence Order in 1829. Venerable Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853)

A slave and beautician who was freed in New York by his owner on her death in 1808. Pierre Toussaint is an example of the impact that Haitians made on the early nineteenth century Black Catholic community in the United States. As a hairdresser, he became the confidant and advisor of the many great ladies who were his patrons. He also became a one-man charity agency. Collecting money for charity, nursing the victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic, giving shelter and training to homeless Black youths.