Friday October 28, 2011

In the Black Catholic Spirit

Liturgical music and dance in the black Catholic tradition will highlight Black Catholic History Month in November.

The University of Dayton will celebrate Black Catholic History Month in November with a Mass and a talk by a noted theologian on the role of black Catholic women in the church.

The celebration will include a talk by Diana Hayes, professor emerita at Georgetown University, on "Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made: A Womanist's Journey." Hayes, a theologian who focuses on the conditions and concerns of black Catholic women, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Sears Recital Hall.

Hayes is the first African-American woman to receive the Pontifical Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She is the author of six books and more than 50 articles.

Music and dance in the black Catholic spirit will highlight a Mass for Black Catholic History Month at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. The University's Ebony Heritage Singers and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will offer liturgical music and dance during the prelude.

The Rev. Francis Tandoh, C.C.S.P., pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Church in Dayton, will preside at the Mass and Royce Winters, deacon and director of African-American Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, will give the sermon.

There are an estimated 2 million black Catholics in the United States, and approximately 4,000 in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The University of Dayton dedicates its celebration in honor of the Rev. Joseph M. Davis, S.M., for his devotion to building the African-American community and his life's work for peace and justice for all.

A native Daytonian and University alumnus, Davis was one of the first African-American Marianists. In 1970, he founded the National Office of Black Catholics and served as its executive secretary until 1977, when he went to Africa to serve as the African Area Superior for the Society of Mary. He died in 1992.

For information on Black Catholic History Month, contact Cecilia Moore, associate professor of religious studies, at 937-229-4559 or For information on the Black Catholic Mass, contact Kathleen Sales, campus minister, at or 937-229-2019.