Documents, talks, writings of interest to African American Catholics


1923 Letter of Pope Pius XII on creation of St. Augustine Seminary


Founding of Saint Augustine's Mission House

Written by Father Matthew Christman, SVD in 1926. Paper explains how the seminary came to be opened in 1920 in Greenville, Mississippi and the relocation to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi in 1923


Maximum Illud written November 30, 1919 by Benedict XV


Homily at 25th Episcopal Anniversary of Most Reverend Harold Robert Perry, SVD

by Bishop Joseph A. Francis, SVD January 12, 1991

Bishop Francis' homily in New Orleans beautifully recounts the life and importance of the first African American Bishop ordained in modern times.


Pope John Paul II Address to Black Catholics on September 12, 1987

Pope John Paul II and his address to Black Catholics at Louisiana Superdome on September 12, 1987. Pope encourages Black Catholics to keep alive and active their rich cultural gifts.


Bishop Joseph Francis, SVD homily at 1992 Black Catholic Congress.

This is a copy of Bishop Francis' homily on July 9, 1992.  In this homily he reflects on the long journey African American Catholics have taken.  He speaks of the African American family and the role of the African American male. He encouraged people to hold out.


THE AFRICAN AMERICAN APOSTOLATE AND THE SOCIETY OF THE DIVINE WORD by Father Joseph Simon, SVD, Ph.D..  This is a talk given at the 1995 symposium at Xavier University. Provides an interesting presentation of facts and events leading to the development of St. Augustine seminary and the ordination of first African Americans in the Catholic church.


Address of Cardinal James Hickey at First Annual Bishop Francis Scholarship Dinner

Cardinal Hickey spoke of the life and challenges presented by Bishop Joseph Francis, SVD. Given on November 6, 1999


 Address of Bishop Harry Flynn at Second Annual Bishop Francis Scholarship Dinner

Bishop Flynn spoke about  the unwillingness of Bishop Francis to tolerate racism. Bishop Flynn refers to him as the "Happy Warrior", a term coined by Father Jerome LeDoux, SVD. Given on December 2, 2000




 A Sankofa Observance of the 500th anniversary of the first enslaved African to enter the Western Hemisphere (1501-2001) a Letter of National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus published January 15, 2001


Pope John Paul II letter on racism

This is the entire letter published on racism during the summer of 2001.


Pastoral Action Statements of Congress IX. These are the statements adopted at the National Black Catholic Congress meeting September 1, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois


Welcoming Address of Congress X. This welcome address by Bishop Joseph Perry sets the purpose of Congress X gathering held July 12-15, 2007 in Buffalo, New York.


 This Far by Faith: Being Pro Life Today by Bishop Terry Steib May 2009


 Homily of Father Edward Chiffller, SSJ at Centennial Mass for Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver on August 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Celebrating 100 years of Enduring Faith, Education and Evangelization at Sacred Heart in Greenville, Mississippi.

This is a copy of the homily given by Bishop Dominic Carmon, SVD on August 31, 2013 on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the historic Sacred Heart Church in Greenville, It was here at Greenville that the Divine Word Missionaries began the first seminary for African American men.



Encyclical of Pope Francis on the environment. 2015


The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015


The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Bishop of Belleville, Illinois

January 1, 2015


Saint Augustine's and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in Bay Saint Louis, MS

This is a Reflection by Brother Bernard Couvillion SC September 8, 2016 on the 50th anniversary of integration at Saint Stanislaus School.


Bishop Terry Steib homily at 2017 Jubilee Mass.

This homily by Bishop Steib as given at the Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving on June 8, 2017.


Pope Francis opening address to the Youth Synod on March 3, 2018

This talk set the tone for the important gathering of Bishops as they discussed the future of the Church in regards youth in the Church.


Let the Church Roll on!

Address of Bishop Fernand J. Cheri, III on August 4, 2020 to Conference of Major Superiors of Men


Upgrading One's Serve

Homily on Mark 10:35-45 of Bishop Fernand Cheri at 75th Anniversary Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 17, 2021


The first four Divine Word Missionaries ordained in 1934. (from left to right) Anthony Bourges; Maurice Rousseve; Francis Wade; Vincent Smith

Bishop Joseph Francis, SVD; Bishop Harold Perry, SVD; Bishop Carlos Lewis, SVD and Bishop Terry Steib, SVD all began at St. Augustine Seminary in Bay Saint Louis, MS

Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD; Bishop Leonard Olivier, SVD and Bishop Dominic Carmon, SVD  also are alumni of St. Augustine Seminary.