National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Black Saints: James, Alexander, and Patrick Healy

 |  NCR Today

Nov. 16 James, Alexander, and Patrick Healy

Did you know that the very first African American priests in the United States were three brothers born of a slave mother and fathered by a Georgia plantation owner?

The Healy Brothers: James, Alexander, and Patrick were sent north for their education and freedom. Because of the adverse racial climate in 19th century America, the Healy brothers had to be ordained in Europe, beginning with James in 1854; Alexander, in 1858; and Patrick, in 1864. James Augustine Healy later became our nation’s first African American bishop in Portland, Maine, in 1875. A year later, Patrick Francis Healy, became the highly regarded president of the Catholic institution, Georgetown University, here in Washington DC. Ironically, Georgetown did not admit students of color, until the mid-1900

More about Black Catholic history

Blacks in Catholic Christianity have a long and vibrant history.

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

Much of that history is generally unknown to Black Catholics as well as to the rest of the faithful. On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate this long history and proud heritage of Black Catholics. During this month we celebrate the presence of our ancestors who kept the faith and are models of living the Gospel life.

November is Black Catholic History Month.

Sign up for our daily Black Catholic Saints email during the month of November to learn more about these holy men and women.
 

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.