Black Catholic Ministries for the Diocese of Arlington’s Office of Multicultural Ministries mission is to raise the level of awareness of the gifts and the contributions made by past and present Black Catholics; provide opportunities for evangelization; serve the needs of the Black Catholic community; and work to increase vocations from the Black Catholic community.
African American Catholics from four parishes were involved in the early development of the Black Catholic Ministries (BCM): St. Joseph’s (Alexandria), Our Lady Queen of Peace (Arlington), Holy Family (Dale City), and St. Thomas á Becket (Reston).
In 1986 that the Arlington diocese began to formally organize Black Catholics in preparation for the Sixth National Black Catholic Congress in 1987 in Washington, DC. Bishop Keating appointed Fr. Joseph Miller, pastor of St. Joseph’s, to be the coordinator of the parish representatives from Our Lady Queen of Peace (Cecilia Braveboy and Alice Lockett), Our Lady of Angels (the late Deacon Henderson), and St. Joseph’s (Thelma Lucas, Justine Carter). After the Congress in Washington, DC, Thelma Lucas soon became the coordinator of the team of Black Catholic leaders from the Northern Virginia parishes.
In 1992 with Thelma Lucas as coordinator, several of the diocesan reps who were planning to attend the National Black Catholic Congress in New Orleans, met with Bishop Keating. The diocesan parish reps continued to increase in number every five years at future Congresses. In the late 1990s, Thelma Lucas and Eugene Harper were appointed chair & vice chairpersons of the BCM. When Thelma resigned in 2007, Eugene Harper and Ed Jones were appointed chair/vice chairpersons.
In 2012, Deacon Al Anderson and Ed Jones were appointed chair/vice chairpersons of the. Now we have new parish leaders networking from St. Jude’s and St. Francis of Assisi parishes to add to the BCM teams. It’s also interesting to see the networking of parishes involved in the Sisters of the Spirit (Arlington Diocese) with Michelle Jones, chair.
If there are any questions or concerns contact Deacon Albert A. Anderson, Jr., Chairperson, Black Catholic Ministries,
The Diocese of Arlington Office of Multicultural Ministries;
Email or Phone: (703) 989-5810