Black Catholic event Oct. 15-16 at Immaculate and St. Bernard's - Catholic Courier

Black Catholic event Oct. 15-16 at Immaculate and St. Bernard’s

The dioceses of Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo are cosponsoring the Black Catholic Convocation in Rochester Oct. 15-16.

The convocation’s theme is “Created in God’s Image: The Black Catholic Experience in the United States,” and the event will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 with prayer, reflection and music at Immaculate Conception Parish, 445 Frederick Douglass St., Rochester.

The convocation will continue Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, 120 French Road, Pittsford.

On Oct. 15, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Teresita Weind, director of the Notre Dame Spirituality Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, will give a talk on “The Lord’s Promises to Us Have Been Fulfilled.”

On Oct. 16, Father Bryan Massingale, professor of moral theology at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wis., will give the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. on “Cultural Divide in the United States: Moral and Theological Implications.”

The day also includes interactive exercises, as well as workshops. Workshop presenters include Daughter of Divine Love Sister MaryPaul Asoegwu, coordinator of ethnic ministries for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; musical experts Kim and Reggie Harris; and Ralph Jones, director of African-American Catholic Ministry for the Syracuse Diocese. Workshops will cover such topics as the historical roots of African-American Catholicism through music; the diversity of Caribbean peoples and the migration of African people; strategies for addressing cultural diversity in parishes; and defining African-American spirituality.

The convocation will conclude with an Oct. 16 Mass celebrated by Bishop Matthew H. Clark at 4:45 p.m.

All African-American, African and West Indian Catholics, as well as others, are invited to attend the convocation, said Father Michael Upson, the Rochester Diocese’s director of the Office of Black Ministry. The office operates under the auspices of diocesan Parish Support Ministries.

“It’s not just for black Catholics,” he noted. “It’s for whoever wants to attend to come to a better understanding of diverse communities.”

Registration costs $15 per person, which includes refreshments and a light lunch on Oct. 16. Checks, made payable to “Diocese of Rochester,” may be mailed to Deacon Tom Driscoll, St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, 120 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.

For information, contact Father Upson at 585/328-3210, ext. 1236, or e-mail him at

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