African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization
Contact Ben Briggs 931.9966 The Acacia Tree, native of Africa, is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Exodus and in the book of Isaiah. The wood of the tree was used to build the Ark of the Covenant. It is mentioned in Isaiah as a sign of the Messianic restoration in Israel. The Acacia tree has deep roots, and survives through drought and famine. It is a strong tree which provides shelter for wild animals from the searing heat of the sun. It also provides food and nourishment. Since biblical times, the Acacia has been a symbol of stability and resilience. The tree is still found in many areas of Africa and has been a symbol of the land.
1979 The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina established a commission of African-American Ministry and Evangelization to address the needs of African-American Catholics in the diocese. 1982 The office of African-American Ministry Evangelization was established to share the good news of Jesus Christ by encouraging all to embrace a Gospel of unity and to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all in society. The Black Bishops, in their pastoral letter ‘What We Have Seen and Heard,’ said that “Evangelization is both a call and a response. It is a call of Jesus reverberating down the centuries: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.” (Mk 16:15) the response is: “Conduct yourselves then, in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Phil 1:27)” 2002 In November 2002, the office of African-American Ministry changed the name of the office to reflect the community in the Diocese of Raleigh, to African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization to include our brothers and sisters from Africa and the Caribbean Islands. The Diocese of Raleigh, through its office of African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization AAMEN, continues to work towards helping others to be sensitive to all our sisters and brothers no matter what their differences.
African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization is established by the Diocese of Raleigh to foster the mission of the Roman Catholic Church, spread the Gospel, celebrate the Sacraments and form a faith community. To do this the ministry must strive to create an atmosphere in which African-Americans can maintain their identity, heighten their visibility and enhance their lives as Catholics. The ministry will be concerned with nurturing those in the Faith, reconciling those fallen away from the Faith and offering a church home to the un-churched through conversion to the Catholic Faith. These principles will be accomplished as follows:
- To preserve and extend the presence of the Catholic Church in the African and African-American community and their presence in the Catholic Church.
- To share the gifts of African and African American Culture with the diocese and the parishes.
- To promote the maintenance and support of the St. Alphonsus Center in Wilson as the Outreach Center for African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization for the Diocese.
- To develop a strong program for Catholic youth of African descent and to promote their participation in diocesan youth programs and activities.
- To network with the offices of the diocese so that they become more knowledgeable, sensitive and responsive to the need of the individuals of African descent whom they serve.
- To work with the Director of Vocations and the Director of the permanent Diaconate in fostering the training and formation of ordained ministers who will work with the African and African-American communities.
- To inform the diocesan community of the ministry through an annual calendar of events, announcements to parishes and articles in NC Catholics, the diocesan magazine.
- To promote the spiritual growth, faith development and knowledge of the Catholic Faith in the members of the AAMEN Chapters through retreats, days of reflection and other programs.
This plan will seek to accomplish these goals by the networking of the office, the commission and the chapters, with the diocese, the parishes, the appropriated persons and offices of the diocese. Learn even more at the Diocese of Raleigh AAMEN website.