Black Catholics Office
The Office of Black Catholics was formed to foster communication among African and African American Catholics of the Austin Diocese and to promote racial understanding and sharing within the entire diocese via visitations, programs and the written word.
The purpose of the Office of Black Catholics is to develop and provide leadership in establishing organized programs for the evangelization and outreach to the diverse communities of those Catholics of African decent within the Diocese of Austin.
The Office of Black Catholics is committed to improving the spiritual and social needs of Black Catholics and to foster an understanding and enculturation within the Catholic Church by conducting workshops, seminars and days of reflection.
The Office of Black Catholics works closely with the Office of Black Catholics Advisory Board, whose purpose is to assist the Director of the Office of Black Catholics in an advisory capacity. The Office of Black Catholics strives to ensure the Church continues to be relevant to the needs, concerns, and hopes of Black Catholics. This Office will endeavor to enlighten, instruct, and raise the consciousness level of the broader Church in order to promote unity, pride and understanding in the Catholic Church and community.
The Office is responsible for liturgies celebrated in the Black culture, social and cultural events, days of reflection, and other events that foster Evangelization.
The mission of this Office is closely interrelated with the National Black Catholic Congress Office and other Offices of Black Catholic Ministry in other (arch) dioceses in the U.S.
Office of Black Catholics
In 1987, the Catholic Diocese of Austin, Texas, established the Office of Black Catholics to address the needs of Black Catholics in the diocese. This action occurred subsequent to the National Black Catholic Congress that was held in 1987 in Washington, D.C.
Since then, the Office has worked toward evangelization to share the good news of Jesus Christ by encouraging all to see the gospel message as one of unity, to be one in God and one in neighbor; to pass on the good news to include all of society. The Black Bishops, in their pastoral letter “What We Have Seen and Heard,” stated that evangelization is both a call and a response.
The Diocese of Austin continues to work toward helping others to be sensitive to all our sisters and brothers no matter their differences.
The Diocese of Austin Office of Black Catholics has coordinated attendees to National Black Congresses held in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. Days of Reflection were held prior to and after the Congresses to plan and implement the various pastoral plans. Johnnie Dorsey has served as Director of the Office of Black Catholics from 1987 to the present.