Chicago: international conference of Black Catholic clergy

 The National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) and the Pan African Roman Catholic Clergy Conference (PARCCC) hosted a joint conference from July 24-27, 2003 at the Techny Towers Conference Centre located in the northern suburban area of Chicago. This conference commemorated the 35th anniversary of the NBCCC and was the fourth annual conference of PARCCC. The theme of this event was "Men After God's Own Heart: Examining the Quest on How to be Faithful Servants of the Gospel." During this event, over 100 ordained African and African American priests, deacons, and brothers recommitted themselves to deepening the bonds of all members of the African Diaspora and the Motherland. Participants also discussed national and global events that are seriously affecting people of African descent and began to deliberate on how as organizations they can address the serious issues the members face in their individual communities. The conference opened with a prayer service in the African Chapel located in the conference centre. A special prayer was offered for the family of Councilman James Davis of New York who was tragically killed the day before the conference. Other conference events included workshops on topics such as formation for African American candidates for priesthood, diaconate, or brotherhood; the importance of broadening one's world view; and implementing a programme to acclimate African clergy to ministering in the African American community. As a result of the conference, NBCCC and PARCCC will present a plan for training African Priests, Brothers and Seminarians on Urban Ministry to African American communities in the United States. Plans are also underway to issue several statements on critical issues in world affairs including the increasing violence and military action in Africa and the Middle East and the United States' recent response to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The National Black Clergy Caucus serves as a fraternity for Black Catholic Clergy and Religious to support the spiritual, theological, educational, and ministerial growth of its members. It serves as a vehicle to bring the contributions of the Black Community to fruition within the Catholic Church. The National Black Clergy Caucus works tirelessly to address issues of institutional racism within the Catholic Church. Membership is open to all priests, brothers, and deacons of African descent. The Pan African Roman Catholic Clergy Conference (PARCCC) was developed by the NBCCC in 1989 to develop lines of communication with ordained clergy in Africa and to assist in developing support systems on their behalf in the United States. PARCCC aims to build a bridge which will enable Africans and African Americans to understand one another and to celebrate their common values. For more information on the NBCCC or PARCCC visit:

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