A woman reaches for cedar ashes before Mass at St. Maryâ€™s Church in Tohatchi, NM, on the Navajo Indian Reservation. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Black and Indian Missions
by Fr. Rothell Price
Collection Dates: Sept. 22 & 23
Announcement Dates: Sept. 9 & 16
The theme for the 2012 Black and Indian Missions Collection is, â€śFaith: Anchored in Jesus, Alive in Mission.â€ť This theme connects with Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s announcement of a special â€śYear of Faith.â€ťÂ The Year of Faith is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II.
The Black and Indian Missions collection occurs each year as the hot, robust season of summer comes to a close, and the cool, mellow season of fall commences. We anticipate the advent of warm days, crisp nights and brisk mornings. September will be the month of final preparations for the inauguration of the Year of Faith which will span 14 months, extending from October of 2012 through November of 2013. Our diocese, parishes and schools will observe the Year of Faith by actively drawing closer to Jesus Christ through reflection and prayer on the Church documents born of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Bishop of Rome in union with his brother bishops and the expertise of many others during the course of the Second Vatican Council.
This is the background in which the special collection for Black and Indian Missions will take place this year.Â All of our second collections have a strong connection with the Year of Faith and are a tangible manifestation of our devotion to our Lord. These collections have a clarion proclamation and eloquent expression in the voices of the Church fathers of the Second Vatican Council.Â The Council documents call us, the Church, the pilgrim people of God, to be the authentic visible manifestation of Christ, our invisible head in the world, today.
The Black and Indian Mission Office was established in 1884. This office embodies the Catholic Churchâ€™s concern for evangelizing the black, Native American and indigenous peoples of the United States. The funds support pastoral ministry, Catholic schools, religious education programs and missionaries on reservations and black communities in impoverished areas.Â Each year bishops request help from the Black and Indian Mission Office to support local black and Indian evangelization.
Please be generous in your support of this mission of Christ and his Church.
Fr. Rothell Price is the Vicar General for the Diocese of Shreveport.