PASTORES D ABO V OBIS THE NEWSLETTER OF THE NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC SEMINARIANS ASSOCIATION
2012 Vol. 3 No. 1
Welcoming A Year of Assembly A Message from the President
I would like to thank our immediate past president, Kareem Smith, for his leadership. Also, I am most grateful to our brother and former president, Deacon Christopher Rhodes, for his zeal and dedication in the renewal of the NBCSA, and to Desmond Drummer for his continued service as the editor for our newsletter. It is my goal to continue to promote vocations, to build and establish fraternity among our brothers, and to obtain spiritual and financial support so that the NBCSA can effectively fulfill its mission in the years to come. On September 17, 2011, the memorial of Saint Robert Bellarmine, the NBCSA implemented a structure of geographic regions and appointed regional representatives to help foster fraternity among seminarians. This year we will have four regional gatherings that will help us get to know one another through prayer and fraternal support. Also, there will be an opportunity for all seminarians of African descent to get together at the eleventh National Black Catholic Congress in Indianapolis, July 19-21, 2012. Please mark your calendar so that you can be a part of this historic event which occurs once every five years. Congress XI will provide us with opportunities for prayer and fellowship that will help us cultivate bonds within the broader Church in the United States. Additionally, in the days leading up to Congress XI, seminarians are encouraged to participate in the Joint Conference of Black clergy and religious, also to be held in Indianapolis. Joint Conference will begin on July 17. More information about seminarian participation at both Congress XI and the Joint Conference will follow in future newsletters as well as by email. I look forward to an exciting year with the NBCSA. Please be assured of my prayers for you all and I ask that you pray for the NBCSA Executive Board as we work to fulfill our mission. Ω
“I will give you shepherds…”
On behalf of the executive board of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association, I would like to thank you for your generosity and your confidence for believing in us to take the NBCSA to the next level. It gives us great honor to serve you.
-ΑPASTORES DABO VOBIS The Newsletter of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association PRESIDENT Dwayne Davis Diocese of Brooklyn
Notes: Regional Representatives NBCSA’s regional representatives facilitate coordination and communication among seminarians of African descent at the local level. ATLANTIC STATES Robert Boxie, III Archdiocese of Washington Theological College
Robert Boxie, III Archdiocese of Washington
MIDWESTERN STATES Samuel Bagyo
Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Mundelein Seminary
Michael Trail Archdiocese of Chicago
TREASURER Doug Hunter Archdiocese of Indianapolis
PASTORES DABO VOBIS is published bimonthly and is available to subscribers, free of charge, by electronic mail. ISSN 2159-1806 EDITOR Desmond Drummer Archdiocese of Atlanta To receive a subscription or to offer comments and story ideas, send an email to the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association.
NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC SEMINARIANS ASSOCIATION The NBCSA is an affiliate of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus
CONTACT THE NBCSA Dwayne Davis Seminary of the Immaculate Conception 440 West Neck Road Huntington, NY 11743
SOUTHERN STATES Doug Hunter Archdiocese of Indianapolis St. Meinrad Seminary
WESTERN STATES Jared Anderson, SDB Salesians of Don Bosco | USA West Seton Hall University
RELIGIOUS—ATLANTIC & SOUTHERN STATES Vacant Please consider helping the NBCSA by serving as a regional representative.
RELIGIOUS—MIDWESTERN & WESTERN STATES Lorenzo Herman, SJ Society of Jesus | Oregon Province Seattle University
Regional representatives can be contacted through the NBCSA: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ω Brooklyn seminarian Dwayne Davis began a year-long term as president of the NBCSA on January 16, 2012. He served as the vice president of the NBCSA in 2011, during which he coordinated the implementation of the regional structure to facilitate fraternity and communication among seminarians of African descent in the U.S. As president, he is committed to further developing the NBCSA as a resource for the Church in the United States.
A New President for the NBCSA A Profile of Brooklyn Seminarian Dwayne Davis Dwayne D. Davis was born in Jamaica, West Indies in December 1986. After finishing his elementary education in Jamaica, he arrived in New York in September 2000 and soon became a member of St. Joseph parish in Jamaica, Queens. Dwayne graduated with honors from Hillcrest High School. In 2008 he graduated from St. John’s University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a double minor in history and theology. Dwayne graduated in three years instead of the usual four, with Dean’s List citations. Dwayne attends the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, in Huntington and looks forward to priestly ordination in 2013. Since his conversion to Catholicism, Dwayne has been committed to gaining a deeper understanding of his faith, and through his increasing spiritual growth, he has zealously dedicated his energy in service to others. As a high school Student, Dwayne became the first president of the Hillcrest High School Future Teachers of America Club. His passion for educating young students led him to form a significant partnership with Junior Achievement of New York (JANY), a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring young people to be successful. Dwayne helped to coordinate the JANY High School Heroes Program, where exceptional high school students volunteered to teach lessons to students in grades K-5. Additionally, Dwayne served as a mentor at Public School 86, where he assisted third graders in math and English. If that were not enough, Dwayne served as the youth minister of St. Joseph Parish and as president of St. Joseph’s Sunshine Club and Youth Group. At Hillcrest, he was a member of the Council for Unity, editor of the school’s newspaper, and founder of Hillcrest Junior Achievement Day. In recognition of his achievements, Dwayne was appointed as a Junior Achievement Student Ambassador and was named the 2005 JANY Student of the Year. He was also honored with the 2005 Hillcrest High School Pre-Teaching Inspiration Award, inducted into the National Honor Society. As a seminarian for the Diocese of Brooklyn, Dwayne lived at Cathedral Seminary Residence (the college seminary) while attending St. John’s University. He was a member of the Habitat for Humanity, the Knights of Columbus, and Seminarians for Life. During his time in college seminary, Dwayne taught religious education at St. Mary Star of the Sea, served as a VIRTUS facilitator for the Diocese of Brooklyn, was chairperson of St. Joseph parish events team. Over the years, he has worked closely with the Office of Black Ministry, now the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns, as a liaison. Through his affiliation, he has been able to participate in many Vicariate events, such as the Kujenga retreat, Youth J.A.M for Jesus, Diocesan Youth Day, and VBCC Youth Leadership Conference. Dwayne continues to educate and inspire the young people of New York and Jamaica, West Indies by sharing his experiences through conformation retreats, parish talks, diocesan youth conference and workshops. He enjoys outdoor activities, learning about cultures, traveling, exploring different cuisine, planning events, and working with the future of the Church and the world—our youth. At present, Dwayne serves as the president of the National Black Catholic Seminarian Association (USA), the founding project director of the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns Youth Leadership Ambassador Program, coordinator of the Kujenga Leadership Program and Kujenga consultant to various diocesan offices of black ministry throughout the country. Ω
NBCSA Gathering in Washington, DC Seminarians of African Descent Gather During the March for Life
“...after my own heart.”
Robert Boxie, III | Archdiocese of Washington The weekend of January 21st brought thousands of pilgrims from all across the country to the city of Washington, DC for the 39th annual March for Life. Also during that weekend, the NBCSA organized a gathering of the members who were in town participating in the March for Life activities. On Sunday, January 22, 2012, after the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the NBCSA gathered together for a reception at Theological College. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other NBCSA members from across the country for food, fun, and fellowship with one another. I would like to thank all the seminarians and clergy who were in attendance and who made the reception a success. In a particular way, I would like to thank Bishop Martin Holley, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, who graced us with his presence as well as offered some words of reflection on the mission of the NBCSA. Additionally, I would like to thank Father Anthony Bozeman, SSJ, president of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, Father Michael Thompson, SSJ, Vicar General of the Josephites, as well as Deacon Christopher Rhodes, former president of the NBCSA, for their presence. Finally, but not least, I would like to thank Father Phillip Brown, SS, rector of Theological College, who was also in attendance, as well as the staff of Theological College for providing the refreshments for our reception. My hope is that we can make the NBCSA Washington gathering an annual event during the March for Life as an opportunity for fellowship and getting to know one another. Ω
Father Augustus Tolton
Cause for Canonization
Tolton’s story is one of carving out one’s humanity as a man and as a priest in an atmosphere of racial volatility. His was a fundamental and pervasive struggle to be recognized, welcomed and accepted. He rises wonderfully as a Christ-figure, never uttering a harsh word about anyone or anything while being thrown one disappointment after another. He persevered among us when there was no logical reason to do so.
—Bishop Joseph N. Perry