NEW YORK (CNS) — For the 29th year in a row, people of all faiths are urged to observe a national day of prayer for the African-American family Feb. 5 as part of Black History Month, observed every February.
The tradition of declaring the first Sunday of February as the prayer day was begun in 1989 by Franciscan Father James E. Goode, one of the nation’s leading African-American Catholic evangelists.
Visitors to the website of Solid Ground, www.solidgroundministry.com, will find a link to a brochure, a prayer and further information to share with others. Father Goode is pastoral director of Solid Ground, a Franciscan ministry with African-American families. The priest also is the founder and president of the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life.
“Stand for What You Believe In” is the theme of this year’s prayer. The prayer brochure suggests families worship together “at the eucharistic table,” pray as a family, celebrate a meal together and “tell your family story.”
It also suggests families set aside time to discuss together “what you are willing to stand for,” such as respect for life; justice and peace; “the end of racism and hate”; the end of abortion “and all acts of violence”; respect for the elderly, women and children; and for the protection of the environment and all creation. “Or pledge to stand with the poor and oppressed, the forgotten, unwanted and unwelcome,” it says.
The prayer, composed by Father Goode, reads in part: “God of mercy and love, we place our African-American and African families before you today. May we be proud of our history and never forget those who paid a great price for our liberation. Bless us one by one and keep our hearts and minds fixed on higher ground. Help us to live for you and not for ourselves, and may we cherish and proclaim the gift of life.”
In addition to Solid Ground and the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, several other groups are supporters of the special day of prayer, including the Black and Indian Mission Office, the Josephites, the Society of the Divine Word, the Order of Friars Minor, the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of Black Ministry, the Venerable Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Fund, the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, the National Black Sisters’ Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: