History of Black Catholic Ministries of Columbus
The Diocese of Columbus has actively participated in the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) since it reconvened in 1987. Over 50 people represented the Columbus Diocese at Congress IX held in Chicago in 2002. Congress IX identified eight major areas of concern that challenge and call Black Catholics to action. This call to action outlines a five - year plan, the Pastoral Plan of Action, to improve the quality of life for people of African descent.
Upon returning from Congress IX – Diocese of Columbus Implementation Committee organized subcommittees to begin work, here at the local level, on the Pastoral Plan of Action. Additional committees were also established to work on initiatives of local interest to the Columbus Black Catholic Community. Local concerns called for the following:
Improvement of Catholic education in the inner city for African American children
- Reinstatement of the Radio Program, “This Far By Faith”
- Establishment of an office for Black Catholics
The NBCC – Diocese of Columbus Implementation Committee changed its name to Black Catholic Ministries of Columbus in February 2004. Some accomplishments of Black Catholic Ministries of Columbus since its inception include:
Publication of a quarterly Newsletter, The Moropa News
- Social Justice “Everyone Counts” Workshops
- Established a relationship with the village of Uwanki-Amokwe from the Enugu State of Nigeria
- Outreach initiatives to our brothers and sisters in suburban parishes within the Diocese Until recently, monthly broadcast of the radio Gospel Mass
- Fundraising by the Ways and Means Committee
- St. Cyprian Parish reunion, in honor of the original parish founded in 1912 for the African American Catholic community
- Co-sponsored with the Diocese of Columbus Department of Social Concern “Meet theCandidates” nights
- Co-sponsored with the Dominican Sisters of Peace annual Martin de Porres Feast Day Celebration
- Conducted a series of 6 HIV/AIDS workshops
Information on the Founder of the National Black Catholic Congress:
Founder of the National Black Catholic Congress
The initiator of the Congress movement was Daniel Rudd, editor and owner of The American Catholic Tribune, a newspaper printed for and by Black Catholics in the Nineteenth Century.
Daniel Rudd was born August 7, 1854, to Robert and Elizabeth Rudd. Daniel was one of 12 children. His father was a slave on the Rudd estate near Bardstown, Kentucky, and his mother was a slave of the Hayden Family in Bardstown. Both of his parents were Catholic.
After the Civil War, Daniel Rudd moved to Springfield, Ohio, (where his elder brother, Robert Rudd, was living) in order to get a secondary school education. There, in 1886, he began a Black newspaper, which was called the “Ohio State Tribune.” That same year, Rudd changed the focus of this weekly newspaper and gave it a new name, “American Catholic Tribune,” the only Catholic Journal owned and published by “Colored Men.” The current newsletter is published by the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) as the African American Catholic Tribune.
In 1889, Daniel Rudd called together the very first National Black Catholic Congress. This meeting was held at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Washington, DC. Distinguished men of African descent came from all over the United States to participate in this historic event. President Grover Cleveland invited participants to the White House for a meeting. Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first recognized Black priest ordained for the Catholic Church in the United States of America, was present and celebrated the opening mass.
Daniel Rudd orchestrated five other Black Congresses in his time. One was held in 1894 at St. Peter Claver Church Hall in Baltimore, Maryland, and an opening dinner was held at historic St. Francis Xavier Church on the east side of the city.
After almost 100 years, the NBCC was organized and has convened three National Congresses.
Daniel Rudd Award - Guidelines and Recipients