February 23, 2024

Videos feature prominent Black Catholics who left an impact on the faith

Criterion staff report

Catholic Charities Indianapolis-Social Concerns has created 10 short videos ranging from 2-10 minutes about Black Catholics of note, including local and national lay persons, priests, religious and those on the path to sainthood.

Each video shares about the person, the times in which they lived and the impact they made on the faith.

The 10 persons featured are:

Servant of God Julia Greeley, born in the 1830s or 1840s and died in 1918, whose acts of service for the poor earned her the title “Denver’s Angel of Charity.”

Benedictine Father Boniface Hardin, 1933-2012, a social activist who founded Martin University in Indianapolis.

Venerable Mother Mary Lange, 1789-1882, who founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first order of Black religious women in the United States, in Baltimore in 1829.

Father Clarence Rivers, 1931-2004, whose well-known liturgical compositions combined Catholic worship music with Black Gospel music.

Venerable Augustus Tolton, 1854-1897, the first Black Catholic priest in the United States.

Sister Mary Wilhelmina Lancaster, 1924-2019, founder of the religious order Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, which won Billboard’s Classical Traditional artists of the year in 2013 for their recorded chants and hymns.

Venerable Pierre Toussaint, 1766-1853, credited as the de facto founder of Catholic Charities in New York City, who used his wealth acquired as a barber to fund philanthropic causes and the construction of New York’s old St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Father Kenneth “K.T.” Taylor, 1951-2019, who founded the archdiocese’s Office of Intercultural Ministry (now the Office of Multicultural Ministry) and served as its director from 1996-2012.

Lucious Newsom, 1915-2008, a late convert to Catholicism who was known as “Indianapolis’ beggar for the poor.” 

Daniel Rudd, 1854-1933, a Black Catholic journalist and early Civil Rights leader.

To view these videos, go to tinyurl.com/BlackCatholicVideos. †

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