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African American Ministry 2020-11-10T12:06:53+00:00

Office Of African American Ministry

The Office of African-American Ministry is based on the National Black Catholic Pastoral Plan to assist parishes in evangelization, especially in the African-American community.

There are seven areas of starting points:

  • Evangelization – reflections on evangelization and a strategy for participation and action;
  • African-American Catholic identity – promote fellowship among African-American Catholics and ensure outreach to the larger community to enhance unity and identity;
  • Catholic leadership and development – encourage ministry and leadership training programs and enrollment in ministry degree programs;
  • African-American Spirituality – rediscover the relationship of sacred scripture and the faith;
  • African-American Family Life – collaborate with diocesan offices, parishes, organizations and community that include family outreach, involvement, and assistance;
  • Social justice issues and concerns – collaborate with other offices and organizations concerning pro-life issues and racism;
  • Responding to the call – development of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

History of African-American Ministry in the Diocese of Beaumont

In 1986, a group of Black Catholics in the Diocese of Beaumont began meeting to prepare for the 1987 National Black Catholic Congress which was to be held in Washington, D.C. Commissioned by Bishop Bernard Ganter, this group met monthly to advise the bishop on programs that would benefit Black Catholics in the Diocese of Beaumont. Since the commission had direct contact with the bishop, the concept of an advisory commission worked well. The long term goals of the commission were twofold: to maintain a diocesan advisory commission and, at some point, to have a diocesan Office of African American Ministry.

The first advisory commission members were Leonard Broussard, James Carter, Nita Chavis, Murray Frank, John Freeman, W.B. Goudeau, Donald Henry, Michael Linden, Anne Monette, Sam Peterson, Eva Robinson, Shirley Ray, Gerald White and Rose Garnet. Father Louis Delarue served as the Spiritual Moderator for the Commission.

Having traveled to three National Black Catholic Congress gatherings, the commission members and delegates from the Diocese of Beaumont returned invigorated and ready to participate in activities being developed as an outgrowth of the Congress. With the support and encouragement of Bishop Joseph Galante, and acting on the advice of the African American Commission, an Office of African American Ministry for the Diocese of Beaumont opened in the summer of 1997. The first Director was Josie Curtis, a position she held until June 2005.

In December 2005, Linda Duhon-LaCour was hired as Executive Director for the Office of African American Ministry for the Diocese of Beaumont. During her tenure as Executive Director, Mrs. LaCour has sought to collaborate with pastors and parish leaders on areas of need for the individual, consortium of black parishes and the diocese as a whole. Currently, the African American Ministry is seeking to follow the mandate of Bishop Curtis Guillory, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to develop an evangelization model that will be spiritually inviting yet vigorously challenging to “throw out into the deep” and, thereby, recapture our fallen away brothers and sisters and gather the unchurched to the Body of Christ.

Mission of the African-American Ministry in the Diocese of Beaumont


We, the African American Commission of the Diocese of Beaumont, envision the celebration of our Catholic African American heritage and culture throughout the diocese and beyond, embrace God’s presence in all of humanity and expand Christ’s spirit of brotherhood through our evangelization outreach.


The mission of the African American Commission of the Diocese of Beaumont is building and empowering the Catholic African American heritage and culture through celebration of the liturgy, education, programming and fellowship with service throughout the Black Catholic community and the larger Catholic community of the Diocese, enriching the dignity of all.

The symbol for the Office of African American Ministry is the GyName. A symbol of the deeply religious character of the people of Ghana, this sign signifies the supremacy of God. Its literal meaning is “except for God”.

Events and Calendar coming soon

Newsletters from the Office Of African American Ministry

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Newsletters from the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association

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Catholic Tidbits

The Subcommittee on African American Affairs is the official voice of the African American Catholic community. The subcommittee attends to the needs and aspirations of African American Catholics regarding issues of pastoral ministry, evangelization, social justice, worship, development of leaders and other areas of concern. The subcommittee also seeks to be a resource for the all Bishops and the entire Catholic Church in the United States. It aims to articulate the socio-cultural dimension of the African American Catholic community and identify or create resources that would allow for an authentic integration of the richness of African American Catholic culture and the Catholic Church in the United States.

The Subcommittee on African American Affairs

African American Commission Members

Our Mother of Mercy – Ames
Ms Beverly Donatto
Mr. Steve Ozan

Blessed Sacrament – Beaumont
Rita Smiley
Karen Thomas

Our Lady of the Assumption – Beaumont
Debra Johnson
Natalie Roberts

Our Mother of Mercy -Beaumont
Donald Stagg
Ms. Wanda David

St. Pius X – Beaumont
Volena Chatman
Mr. Levoris Roy

St. Martin de Porres – Cheek
Ms. Vanessa Rhymes
Ms. Lynn Reed

Sacred Heart – Port Arthur
Willa McDaniel
Wanda Thompson

St. James – Port Arthur
William James Carter
Mrs. Mary Ford

St. John the Evangelist – Port Arthur
Joyce Flugence
Joyrita Guillory

St. Therese – Orange
Ms. Freda Guillory
Mr. Gary Mims

Sacred Heart – Raywood
Jerry LaChapelle
Effie Sharp
KPC Liaison
Joseph Vallery