Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 11

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my fellow Veterans of the Armed Forces. I spent almost 6 years in the United States Army, Military Police Corps, I want to say to my brothers and sisters; THANK YOU for giving of your life for all of us. I also thank the families of those service men and women who shed their blood for our freedoms we enjoy; thank YOU for your sacrifice of loved one(s).

We continue this month's celebration of Black Catholic History Month with celebrating the little known life of St. Rufus of Rome, son of St. Simon of Cyrene (featured yesterday).

St. Rufus' feast day is November 21st and lived in the first century, as a Roman and disciple of St. Paul the Apostle. St. Paul made mention of Rufus in his letter to the Romans 16:13: "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord and his mother and mine." St. Rufus, in some traditions is also considered to have served as a Bishop of the Church.

St. Rufus of Rome... pray for us.

Blessings and Peace to you all this day, and never forget.... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 10

We continue our celebration of Black Catholic History Month today, in telling the stories of those who have made a significant impact upon the Church. Those of African, African-American and those of non-color that have helped to advance the Gospel Message to millions around the world and especially in this Nation.

"And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross." (Matthew 27:32)

Today we reflect upon the life of St. Simon of Cyrene, although much is not known about this man 'of color', his small contribution is not only told in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but we also reflect upon his 'mission' in the 5th Station of the Cross.

As Simon was walking into the city of Jerusalem with his two sons, he noticed the hustle and bustle of the city, which was normal, but it seemed a bit different on this trip. As we in modern day society know with traffic accidents, things slow down and everyone wants to 'rubber neck' and watch; so was the case in this time. Simon, with his two sons in tow, moved closer to the commotion when he realized it was 'this Jesus', the reported Messiah; the Healer, the Preacher and the Teacher; the one who claimed to be 'the Son of God', had been arrested, beaten, set with a crown of thorns upon his head, and was being led to His execution; even forced to carry his own instrument of death - the Cross.

I place myself in the same position as Simon was in and thinking as a father would, with his children present, 'what should I do'? I would like to believe that I would have done the same as Simon; ensuring my children were safe and then press forward to see if there was anything (however little it might be) that I could do.

I am certain that Simon was appalled at what was transpiring and more than likely shouted at the Roman Soldiers, for doing what they were doing, when all of a sudden, a Soldier forced Simon 'into service'; demanding that he (Simon) pick up the Cross and carry it for Jesus. Imagine looking down upon Christ, broken, battered, bloodied and bruised; picking up this 'tree' that had fallen upon him and helping him (Christ) to his feet.

Let us learn from this great Saint our 'mission'; we too must bear our share of the burdens for the sake of the Gospel. We too must pick up the Cross of Christ and carry the Good News of Salvation into all the strata of humanity; extolling, Christ destroyed Death, so that we might LIVE IN HIM, forever more...

Thank you St. Simon of Cyrene for teaching us love and compassion; for giving us strength and courage to pick up the Cross of Jesus, for the sake of all mankind!

St. Simon of Cyrene, Pray for us!

Blessings and Peace, and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nightwatch Services - "How We Got Over"...

I have seen this on the internet several times and feel impelled to share it. This is part of the History of the United States, Black, White, Hispanic, et. al. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord and share in it's struggles and triumphs. This article is only a small portion of the strength, faith and love millions had and continue to have for this Nation. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

“Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve.

The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. To 10 p.m. And ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.

Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service -- made a bit more Afro centric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church.

Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs.
In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, there is a reason for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations.

The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve."
On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law.
Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free.

When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.
Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year.

It's been 145 years since that first Freedom's Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate "how we got over."”

Black Catholic History Month - November 9

Today we continue with our month long celebration of Black Catholic History Month, where we honor and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, both black and non-black, saint and non-saint, who have dedicated their lives and sacrificed on behalf of those of color in the United States and around the World.

We focus today on the Ugandan Martyrs, St. Charles Lwanga and Companions who were persecuted and suffered greatly for the Gospel. While reading this story of true love, let us also be aware of the modern suffering continuing in Africa this very day, and those who still labor for the Gospel and continue to be martyred daily for the sake of furthering the Love of Christ. Let us continue to hold them near and dear to us in prayer.

The information below, is courtesy of

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
Martyrs of Uganda
Feastday: June 3

"For those of us who think that the faith and zeal of the early Christians died out as the Church grew more safe and powerful through the centuries, the martyrs of Uganda are a reminder that persecution of Christians continues in modern times, even to the present day.

The Society of Missionaries of Africa (known as the White Fathers) had only been in Uganda for 6 years and yet they had built up a community of converts whose faith would outshine their own. The earliest converts were soon instructing and leading new converts that the White Fathers couldn't reach. Many of these converts lived and taught at King Mwanga's court.

King Mwanga was a violent ruler and pedophile who forced himself on the young boys and men who served him as pages and attendants. The Christians at Mwanga's court who tried to protect the pages from King Mwanga.

The leader of the small community of 200 Christians, was the chief steward of Mwanga's court, a twenty-five-year-old Catholic named Joseph Mkasa (or Mukasa).

When Mwanga killed a Protestant missionary and his companions, Joseph Mkasa confronted Mwanga and condemned his action. Mwanga had always liked Joseph but when Joseph dared to demand that Mwanga change his lifestyle, Mwanga forgot their long friendship. After striking Joseph with a spear, Mwanga ordered him killed. When the executioners tried to tie Joseph's hands, he told them, "A Christian who gives his life forGod is not afraid to die." He forgave Mwanga with all his heart but made one final plea for his repentance before he was beheaded and then burned on November 15, 1885.

Charles Lwanga took over the instruction and leadership of the Christian community at court -- and the charge of keeping the young boys and men out of Mwanga's hands. Perhaps Joseph's plea for repentance had had some affect on Mwanga because thepersecution died down for six months.

Anger and suspicion must have been simmering in Mwanga, however. In May 1886 he called one of his pages named Mwafu and asked what the page had been doing that kept him away from Mwanga. When the page replied that he had been receiving religious instruction from Denis Sebuggwawo, Mwanga's temper boiled over. He had Denis brought to him and killed him himself by thrusting a spear through his throat.

He then ordered that the royal compound be sealed and guarded so that no one could escape and summoned the country's executioners. Knowing what was coming, Charles Lwanga baptized four catechumens that night, including a thirteen-year-old named Kizito. The next morning Mwanga brought his whole court before him and separated the Christians from the rest by saying, "Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there." He demanded of the fifteen boys and young men (all under 25) if they were Christians and intended to remain Christians. When they answered "Yes" withstrength and courage Mwanga condemned them to death.

He commanded that the group be taken on a 37 mile trek to the place of execution at Namugongo. The chief executioner begged one of the boys, his own son, Mabaga, to escape and hide but Mbaga refused. The cruelly-bound prisoners passed the home of theWhite Fathers on their way to execution. Father Lourdel remembered thirteen-year-old Kizito laughing and chattering. Lourdel almost fainted at the courage and joy these condemned converts, his friends, showed on their way to martyrdom. Three of these faithful were killed on road.

A Christian soldier named James Buzabaliawo was brought before the king. When Mwanga ordered him to be killed with the rest, James said, "Goodbye, then. I am going to Heaven, and I will pray to God for you." When a griefstricken Father Lourdel raised his hand in absolution as James passed, James lifted his own tied hands and pointed up to show that he knew he was going to heaven and would meet Father Lourdel there. With a smile he said to Lourdel, "Why are you so sad? This nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to."

Also condemned were Andrew Kagwa, a Kigowa chief, who had converted his wife and several others, and Matthias Murumba (or Kalemba) an assistant judge. The chief counsellor was so furious with Andrew that he proclaimed he wouldn't eat until he knew Andrew was dead. When the executioners hesitated Andrew egged them on by saying, "Don't keep your counsellor hungry -- kill me." When the same counsellor described what he was going to do with Matthias, he added, "No doubt his god will rescue him." "Yes," Matthias replied, "God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he willtake my soul and leave you only my body." Matthias was cut up on the road and left to die -- it took him at least three days.

The original caravan reached Namugongo and the survivors were kept imprisoned for seven days. On June 3, they were brought out, wrapped in reed mats, and placed on the pyre. Mbaga was killed first by order of his father, the chief executioner, who had tried one last time to change his son's mind. The rest were burned to death. Thirteen Catholics and eleven Protestants died. They died calling on the name of Jesus and proclaiming, "You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls."

When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their natively language and givingsecret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them. The twenty-two Catholicmartyrs of the Uganda persecution were canonized.


Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of thepersecution in other parts of the world. Amen"

Enjoy the rest of your day and know that your faith in God, will sustain you, for His Grace is sufficient for you! Blessings and Peace to you and remember, KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 8

Continuing our celebration of Black Catholic History Month and honoring those who went before us, Cleric, and Laity, Saints and non-Saints, African, African-American and those of non-African Descent, we lift up a Lay man and his wife, St. Timothy the Lector and his wife Maura. They are a TRUE inspiration to all, especially the laity, to understand that we have a job, our Vocation of the laity is calling us to a higher calling. We must also do our part to continue to spread the Good News, Evangelize others and be willing to sacrifice our own lives for the sake of what we believe in.

St. Timothy, the lector and wife, Maura
"Martyrs at Penapeis, Kemet. I am Timothy from Penapeis at the Kemet Thebaid with my wife, Maura. I was the son of apriest from around Antinoe. We were married 20 days. I served as a reader (now called lector) in Church. Maura and I studied scriptures.
Since I taught Christians in the community, enemies turned us into Arian, the
Thebaid Governor. This was during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian (284A.D. to 305 A.D.).
Arian told us to surrender the holy and sacred books, and sacred vessels. I could not! It was if I were surrendering my
children to the lions.
Arian ordered hot iron spits through my ears. They brought Maura to pressure me into what Arian wished, and to worship idols. Maura did not attempt to persuade me. My wife told me be strong, and said that she, too, was Christian. Arian ordered all her hair pulled from her head. Her fingers were chopped off. Authorities placed her into a boiling water cauldron. She suffered no harm from this boiling liquid.
Authorities nailed us both to a wall, where we torturously endured nine days. Arian finally had us crucified, she facing me, I facing her. We consoled one another.
It took nine days for us to die, 286 A.D., at Antinoe, 23 Nov. Coptic Calendar. (Probably same as Timothy and Maura, Heraclides, martyr. Heradius and Zozimus, martyrs, at Carthage; 3 May, (286 A.D.), of Antinoe, in Kemet)."

Information posted above courtesy of

Thank you and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 7

Thank you for celebrating Black Catholic History Month. Today's post is thanks to

"Henriette Delille, a descendant of slaves, is the first US-born black whose cause for Canonization has been officially opened by the Roman Catholic Church. At the early age of 14, she was one of ten black girls who taught religion to the slaves of old New Orleans (which was illegal at the time). Her family, however, had other plans. She

was born to an ancestral quadroon family who trained and supplied women to be the mistresses of white men - which Henriette refused to do, since she wished to be a nun.

In 1836 she and another woman tried to establish an interracial religious community, but found great resistance in the laws of the time which forbad whites and blacks from living together or developing formal contractual agreements. This setback only made her more determined. Her biography states that she believed that "One day, somehow, she, a woman of African descent, would be a nun in New Orleans, the slave mart of the country, where her people were in distress and no one was going to persuade her to go elsewhere or do anything else."

Henriette’s dream came closer to reality in 1842 when she and two other formed a "pious union" which eventually came to be known as the Sisters of the Holy Family. The group cared for people who were elderly, orphaned, illiterate, sick, dying and the poor of her own race. In 1852 this group took formal vows for the first time, and in 1870 were recognized by the church as a religious community. Still, it was not until 1872 that they were allowed to wear a habit, so controversial was their group.

One nun of her order, Sr. Sylvia Thibodeaux said "Without her courage and strong faith, this community would not have existed. We revere her memory ands want the universal church to share in the beauty of her life ..."

Her life commitment continued to inspire controversy in every part of New Orleans. Quadroons thought she was rebellious and stubborn. Whites thought she was uppity because she aspired to a life that they had reserved for white women. The Sisters of her order were ridiculed by women and sexually harassed by white men. The institutional Church regarded their work as "harmless" religious education of blacks. The city regarded their work as defiance. The black men and women of new Orleans regarded them as "family" - a holy family who comforted, fed, housed and educated the disinherited of American society.

Henriette died in 1862 - but her dream lives on in the 250 Sisters of the Holy Family working in 4 states, and Belize, Central America. Her story has now piqued the interest of Hollywood (to her supporters dismay) - entertainer Vanessa Williams portrayed Sister Henriette Delille in a 1999 made-for-TV movie about Henriette’s life called "The Quadroon Ball". Rev. Cyprian Davis has written a comprehensive biography of her life. The first step in the process to have her declared "Venerable" by the Catholic Church has begun.

But whatever the world or formal church decides about Henriette, there is no doubt that before God and the world, she was a strong black Catholic woman of faith - a model of "God overcoming".

The above graphic and the following prayer for the canonization of Sister Henriette Delille are from the website indicated below.

Prayer for the Beatification of Henriette Delille

O good and gracious God, you called Henriette Delille to give herself in service and in love to the slaves and the sick, to the orphan and the aged, to the forgotten and the despised. Grant that inspired by her life we might be renewed in heart and mind. If it be your will, may she one day be raised to the honor of sainthood. By her prayers may we live in harmony and peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.""

Thank you for celebrating with us and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 6

November is Black Catholic History Month, where we celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, that have made a significant impact upon the Church in the United States of America. Today we celebrate the life of a non-canonized saint (but she is a Saint in the truest form of the word to millions), Sister Thea Bowman.

Black nun being examined for sainthood'She touched everybody's heart,' Homewood pastor says in recalling his encounters

with Sister Thea Bowman

Friday, November 28, 2003

By Ervin Dyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sister Thea Bowman's pleas for racial understanding could move men to tears. At a U.S. Catholic

bishops' conference in 1990, she told the mostly white Catholic hierarchy that black is beautiful.

"God didn't make junk," she said, challenging the bishops to do more to celebrate the gifts and legacy of black American Catholics.

Though Sister Thea, as she was called, was weakened by bone cancer and used a wheelchair, she drew from the Negro spiritual and was "in no ways tired."

She spoke of an old-time religion that bound people in love and then went on to lead the bishops in singing "We Shall Overcome."

When she finished, the bishops wept, gave her a standing ovation and lined the hallway to greet the frail black woman draped in African robes as she exited the building.

"She touched everybody's heart," said the Rev. David Taylor of Homewood's St. Charles Lwanga parish, as he recalled the conference and his personal meetings with Sister Thea.

"She could go into any place and spiritualize it."

From a rural crossroads town in Mississippi, Sister Thea began a journey that made her a nationally known speaker, singer, liturgist and advocate of black spirituality.

Before she died of cancer at 52 in 1990, her work landed her a spot on CBS Television's "60

Minutes." Harry Belafonte met her in Mississippi in 1989 in hopes of doing a movie on her life. Novelist Margaret Walker Alexander started but never finished a biography of Sister Thea.

The Catholic Church has begun the process of closely examining her life to see if she is worthy of canonization, but to those who knew her, Sister Thea is already a saint.

There are black women among the church's 4,500 saints, most notably St. Monica, the mother of the North African St. Augustine, who is credited with shaping Catholic theology, but no American black women.

Besides Sister Thea, two other black American women are being considered for sainthood: Mother Mary Lange, who started Baltimore's Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829, and Mother Henriette DeLille, who founded an order restricted to black women in New Orleans in 1842.

But Sister Thea, who has been called Mother Teresa with soul, is a contemporary figure.

There are 62 million American Catholics -- about 2 million of them black. It would have powerful resonance to see someone like Sister Thea -- who walked among them -- elevated to saint.

"She left us -- African-Americans -- more encouragement to be who we are and to be more effective leaders in the church," said Taylor.

Sister Thea is recalled each March at Duquesne University, which holds a dinner in her honor to raise scholarship funds for black students. The recognition moves beyond the campus Sunday as a Pittsburgh tri-parish committee commemorates Sister Thea as part of its yearlong Celebration of Black Saints.

"She did so much to affirm blacks in the church," said Taylor. "Her sainthood would be a victory for us all."

Sister Thea, the granddaughter of slaves, was born "Bertha" in Yazoo City, Miss. Her father was a physician and her mother a teacher. Public schools in the Mississippi Delta were so bad that after five years, Sister Thea still could not read.

Her distraught parents, who highly valued education, sent her to the Holy Child Jesus, a school for black children run by the Franciscan order of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

The dedicated nuns never shied from "begging" for better books or gym clothes; they had the strong students tutor the weaker ones; they involved the children's parents in fund-raising.

Sister Thea was baptized Episcopalian and raised as a Methodist, but, because of the strong influence of the sisters, became a Catholic at 10. Her life was shaped by their work.

"I had witnessed so many Catholic priests, brothers and sisters who made a difference that was far-reaching. I wanted to be part of the effort to help feed the hungry, find shelter for the homeless and teach the children," she wrote 13 years ago when preparing notes for an autobiography in a Catholic magazine.

At 15, she entered the Rose Convent in LaCrosse, Wis., as a first step toward becoming a Franciscan nun, taking the name Thea. She was the first and only black person at the convent.

Sister Thea went on to earn master's and doctorate degrees in literature and linguistics and became a national presence for promoting intercultural understanding.

She started in her own back yard, going home in 1978 to help care for her elderly parents and teaching about the Native American and black American heritage in Mississippi.

"The heck with the melting pot," she once wrote. "If you want to melt and fit into my mold, if you want to adopt my values and way of life, go right ahead, but don't expect me to melt to fit into yours."

Sister Thea preached that for Africans, Asians and Hispanics to assimilate or melt into the pot was to become "half gray."

It was a dulling of the cultures that she thought robbed people of the "richness, beauty, wholeness and harmony of what God created."

Thank you for reading the Blog and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries -

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Black Catholic HIstory Month - November 5

Thank you for reading this blog and helping us to celebrate the month of November which is Black Catholic History Month, where we feature and highlight Saints and Lay people who have made a significant impact upon the Church. We feature not only those of African descent, but also those who have had a significant role in the evangelization of Africans, Slaves as well as people of color in the United States of America. Enjoy and please share this with others.

First Universally Recognized Black Priest in the United States

Augustus Tolton

Augustus Tolton was born of the marriage union of Peter Paul and Martha Jane Tolton in Ralls County, Missouri on April 1, 1854. He had one older brother, Charles, and two younger sisters, Cordella and Anna. These children were all born into the same slavery to which their parents were subjected.

Peter Paul Tolton, in looking at his condition, could see nothing but the abuse

of his people. He has his family were subject to the rules of another man’s life. As the Civil War began in 1861, Peter escaped slavery and joined the Union Army to fight for his family’s freedom. Tragically, he was among the 180,000 other Black men who were killed during that war. He died in St. Louis Hospital.

Martha Tolton, a strong and courageous woman, fulfilled her husband’s long quest for freedom. She gathered her children and walked to freedom by crossing the Mississippi River. Reaching safety, she spoke to her children, “Now you are! Never forget the goodness of the Lord!” Augustus was seven years old when he and his family reached Quincy, Illinois. He remembered his mother’s counsel, and never did forget the goodness of the Lord.

Prior to their escape, the slave owners of the Tolton family (the Elliots) had all their slaves baptized; so upon reaching Illinois, the family became members of the Roman Catholic Church. They continued to practice their faith after becoming free. Augustus was enrolled in Catholic School for a time, but had to withdraw because of the racial prejudice of the parishioners who protested the presence of a “Negro” in the school. Some of the School Sisters of Notre Dame who staffed St. Boniface School tutored Augustus until he got enrolled in St. Peter’s School, where he was allowed to attend classes.

As he grew, Augustus began to desire to serve the Lord more deeply by becoming a priest. However, at that time, the American Catholic Church did not allow black men to be admitted to studies in United States seminaries. Request to have Augustus admitted to an American seminary fell on deaf ears. His parish priests, disheartened by the prejudice of those in charge of seminaries, began to tutor Augustus themselves.

In 1878, he was admitted to Franciscan College at Quincy, Illinois as a special student. However the two parish priests (Frs. McGuirr and Richardt) continued their efforts to get him into a seminary. In 1880, they were successful, and Augustus left for the Propaganda College in Rome to prepare for priesthood. For a time, Augustus thought that he would be sent to Africa to serve as a missionary after ordination; but Cardinal Giovanni Simeon thought it best that he return to his home country and diocese of Alton, Illinois. The Cardinal said “America needs Negro priests. America has been called the most enlightened nation, we will see now whether it deserves the honor. If the United States has never seen a Black priest, it must see one now. Can you drink from this cup?” Despite knowing well the resistance he would surely face upon returning, Augustus answered the call, “I can drink of the cup of the Lord!”

Fr. Augustus Tolton was ordained on April 24, 1886, as the first known and recognized Black priest in the United States of America. Returning to the United States, he ministered for two years as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Quincy, Illinois. He quickly gained a reputation as a fine preacher, so much so that many of the German and Irish Catholics began to attend Mass with the Black Catholics! He was most attentive to the spiritual and human needs of his people. Soon his Masses and instruction classes gained prominence, and he was asked to attend and speak at many public gatherings. His increasing popularity unleashed both hidden racism and the jealousy of both Catholic and non-Catholic ministers in the area. His enemies referred to his church as “that nigger church”, and to him as ‘the nigger priest”.

The extent of the persecution Fr. Tolton received especially from the other Catholic pastor in Quincy (Fr. Weiss) led to his transfer from Quincy to Chicago. Then Chicago Archbishop Feegan thought this gifted young black man would have a powerful impact in the Chicago diocese. Upon arriving there, Tolton ministered in a South side church basement that was known as St. Augustine’s, and later became St. Monica’s Church. Parishioners eventually found him an apartment at 448 East 36th Street, and his mother and sister moved in with Fr. Tolton, who had been given jurisdiction of all Blacks in Chicago, and had become the first Black pastor in Chicago. Although the formal church building was never totally completed, the parish continued to gather at the small chapel on 36th and Dearborn Streets for Mass and other assemblies. St. Monica’s became the center of Black Catholic life for more than 30 years.

Augustus Tolton continued to be well known in Chicago and the United States. He spoke at numerous gatherings and lectures, including the 1st Catholic Colored Congress in Washington DC in 1889. Catholics in Boston and New York heard him speak, and he preached at places like the Cathedral in Galveston, Texas and many others. Papers throughout the country played up Fr. Tolton’s unique role as the only full blooded Black priest in the American Catholic Church. Augustus was proud of his Blackness, and extremely devoted to his people.

Perhaps it was because he was so devoted and hard-working that his life was cut short far too early. In July 1897, he journeyed with other Diocesan priests to make a retreat, returning on an excessively hot day on Friday, July 9, 1897. As he stepped from the train at 35th Street and Lake Park, and began walking home, he was stricken by a heat stroke and rushed to Mercy hospital. He died that night at the age of 43.

Later, the first Black Catholic Bishop, Harold Perry, SVD, wrote this of Fr. Augustus Tolton: “Fr. Tolton found his opposition within the Church and among church people, where compassion should have offset established prejudice and ignorance. It was his lot to disprove the myth that young Black men could not assume the responsibility of the Catholic priesthood.”

Information courtesy of

Blessings and Peace to you,

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Black Catholic History Month; “Remembering the Past...”

This is a special prayer I found on the Internet that touched my heart. I can only imagine how many hundreds of thousands of people prayed this prayer; how many of my own ancestors prayed this prayer, so that I would be in the position that I am today. We take so much for granted and we must not dwell on the past, but must never forget it as well, least we be doomed to repeat it.


I humbly take this moment in time to thank my own ancestors who went before me, that I may be afforded the privileges that I have this day, that I may know, understand and receive the rights afforded me by this Nation; I simply say, THANK YOU LORD for delivering Your People, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, of ALL Races, Creeds and Colors; thank You Lord for your Deliverance, and continue to have Mercy upon us... even now; in Jesus Name I pray, amen, Amen and AMEN!


Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries




Our Father who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy Name.

Hear now, we beseech Thee, the prayer and petition of ten million American citizens of African descent, who this day approach Thy presence with one heart and voice. We thank Thee that Thou art no respecter of races, nations or persons; but all who love and serve find equal favor with Thee.

Thou didst stoop to the lowly estate of our fathers and mothers in the darker days of their enslavement, and didst hear their cry for deliverance rising up from the low ground of sorrows. May our faith in Thy power of deliverance be as simple and sincere and as soul-deep as theirs. Amidst the distractions and allurements of this worldly day, may we preserve the patrimony of the faith of our fathers.

We do not palliate misdeeds, nor would we shield the wrongdoer from the just penalty of crime. Let those who sin under the law perish by the law. But we pray Thee that accusation, suspicion and allegement of crime may not suffice for proof when one of our number is the victim. Let not the sins of the wicked be visited upon the heads of the guiltless.

We are slain all the daylong in the land of our nativity, which is the land of our loyalty and of our love. The vials of race vengeance are wreaked upon our defenseless heads. The inhuman thirst for human blood takes little heed of innocence or guilt. Any convenient victim identified with our race suffices to slake the accursed thirst. We are beaten with many stripes. Our bodies are bruised, burned and tortured and torn asunder for the ghoulish mirth of the blood lusty multitude. Whenever such atrocity is perpetrated upon any one of our number, because of his race, it is done unto us all. Vengeance and wrath are not invoked for the fit atonement of committed crime, nor yet for the just punishment of evildoers; but the sinister aim is to depress our spirit, enslave our souls and to give our name an evil repute in the eyes of the world.

Put it into the hearts of the people and the ruler of our own land that the true grandeur of this nation will not consist in political dominion or the mightiness of power or the magnitude of material things, but in justice, love and mercy.

We pray Thee to enlighten the understanding and nerve the hearts of our law-makers with the political wisdom and the moral courage to pass the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, now hanging in the balance of doubt and uncertainty.

Have mercy upon any of our legislators who may be so embittered with the gall of race hatred and fettered by the bonds of political iniquity as to advocated or apologize for lynching, raping and murder.

Hear our prayer, relieve our distress, preserve our nation and save the world.

We ask it all for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Black Catholic History Month - November 4

The Month of November is Black Catholic History Month, where we celebrate the lives of not only Saints and Holy People of God who are of African, African-American, but also non African Descent, who have played a major role in furthering the Gospel Message in the United States and beyond.

St. Victor the Moor

Feastday: May 8

Martyr, also listed as Victor Maurus. Ile was labeled "the Moor" because he came from Mauretania, Africa. He was a member of the praetorian guard when a young man. He was in his old age when he was tortured and then beheaded at Milan, Italy, during the persecutions of co-Emperor Maximian.

This information is courtesy of

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Qorban Ministries, Evangelist Richard Lane

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 3

The Month of November is Black Catholic History Month and during this entire month we will feature Saints who have made an impact upon the Church and the African-American Church as well. We will also 'celebrate' those Saints of non-African descent who played a major role in the evangelization of Africans, Slaves as well as African-Americans. We will also feature Blessed's, Venerable's, as well as those who have not been Canonized, but whose impact was significant upon the People of God.

Today we feature St. Martin de Porres, whose Feast Day is today, November 3rd.

St. Martin de Porres

"Father unknown" is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. "Half-breed" or "war souvenir" is the cruel name inflicted by those of "pure" blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man, but he did not. It was said that even as a child he gave his heart and his goods to the poor and despised.

He was the illegitimate son of a freed woman of Panama, probably black but also possibly of Native American stock, and a Spanish grandee of Lima, Peru. Martin inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. That irked his father, who finally acknowledged his son after eight years. After the birth of a sister, the father abandoned the family. Martin was reared in poverty, locked into a low level of Lima’s society.

When he was 12, his mother apprenticed him to a barber-surgeon. He learned how to cut hair and also how to draw blood (a standard medical treatment then), care for wounds and prepare and administer medicines.

After a few years in this medical apostolate, Martin applied to the Dominicans to be a "lay helper," not feeling himself worthy to be a religious brother. After nine years, the example of his prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the poor. It was particularly impressive that he treated all people regardless of their color, race or status. He was instrumental in founding an orphanage, took care of slaves brought from Africa and managed the daily alms of the priory with practicality as well as generosity. He became the procurator for both priory and city, whether it was a matter of "blankets, shirts, candles, candy, miracles or prayers!" When his priory was in debt, he said, "I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me."

Side by side with his daily work in the kitchen, laundry and infirmary, Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and a remarkable rapport with animals. His charity extended to beasts of the field and even to the vermin of the kitchen. He would excuse the raids of mice and rats on the grounds that they were underfed; he kept stray cats and dogs at his sister’s house.

He became a formidable fundraiser, obtaining thousands of dollars for dowries for poor girls so that they could marry or enter a convent.

Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director, but he continued to call himself a "poor slave." He was a good friend of another Dominican saint of Peru, Rose of Lima (August 23).

Racism is a sin almost nobody confesses. Like pollution, it is a "sin of the world" that is everybody's responsibility but apparently nobody's fault. One could hardly imagine a more fitting patron of Christian forgiveness (on the part of those discriminated against) and Christian justice (on the part of reformed racists) than Martin de Porres.

In 1962, Pope John XXIII remarked at the canonization of Martin: "He excused the faults of others. He forgave the bitterest injuries, convinced that he deserved much severer punishments on account of his own sins. He tried with all his might to redeem the guilty; lovingly he comforted the sick; he provided food, clothing and medicine for the poor; he helped, as best he could, farm laborers and Negroes, as well as mulattoes, who were looked upon at that time as akin to slaves: thus he deserved to be called by the name the people gave him: 'Martin of Charity.'"

Patron Saint of:
Race relations
Social justice

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Thank you again and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 2

The month of November is Black Catholic History month and in order for us to truly celebrate this month, we will feature a Saint of African Descent, as well as those who have made significant contributions toward the evangelization of Africans, Slaves, as well as African-Americans. Featured as well, during this month will also be several Blesseds, Vernerables, as well as those who might not yet be up for Sainthood (Cannonization), but have made a significant impact upon our Church and the People of God.

Today we celebrate the life of St. Moses the Black.

"Saint Moses the Black (Coptic:330 – 405), known as the Ethiopianor the strong, was a slave of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed theNile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with somemonks in a colony in the desert of Scetes, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life, became a Christian, was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.

Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him.

Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.

Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."

Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot

that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.

When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the Western Desert. Later, he was ordained a priest. At

about age 75, about the year 405 AD, word came that a group ofBerbers planned to attack the monastery. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits on 24 Paoni (July 1). A modern interpretation honors Saint Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence. His relics and major shrine are found today at the Church of theVirgin Mary in the Paromeos Monastery."

(Information courtesy of

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Qorban Ministries

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