ROCK HILL — The Diocese of Charleston’s Black Catholic Heritage Celebration 2008 will be held at St. Mary Church Oct. 17-18.
This year’s theme is “Christian Vocations: A Call to Service,” and the deadline for registration is Oct. 10.
Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, the auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, will be the keynote speaker and homilist.
At the time of his ordination in 2007, Bishop Fabre, then 43, was the youngest bishop in the United States.
He was ordained a priest in 1989 and served as parochial vicar for several churches before being assigned to his first pastorate in 1995.
Bishop Fabre also served as the director of the Office of Black Catholics for 14 years.
Presenters at the event include Msgr. Mauricio West, V.G., Diocese of Charlotte; and Janice Greene from New All Saints Church in Baltimore, Md.
The Heritage Choir, the Heritage Liturgical Dancers, St. Mary Liturgical Dancers, and St. Anthony of Padua Children’s Choir will all perform at the event.
An adults’ general meeting will start the celebration at 7 p.m. Oct. 17. It will be followed by a “Jammin’ at the Catholics” social at 9 p.m.
A number of student events are also planned, starting with the Youth Track from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Bishop Fabre will lead an open discussion followed by dinner and a dance for students in sixth-twelfth grade.
Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 18 followed by refreshments and a welcoming prayer service.
The bishop will give his keynote address at 10:30 a.m.
A Youth Track and a Track for Kids, which includes children in first-fifth grades, will feature Greene.
A noted storyteller, Greene will present a workshop that asks the pivotal question, “Are you ready to take your place in the world as an adult disciple of Jesus Christ?”
Highlights include singing, rapping and hand clapping in the African oral tradition. Young people will be encouraged to live their faith, testify to the goodness of God and evangelize to their peers.
The first workshop for adults will discuss why married life and living single are true Christian vocations with roots in the New Testament. Facilitators will talk about the challenges faced by these men and women.
The second workshop will focus on the Roman Catholic understanding of ordained ministry by looking at the role of priests and deacons in the church. Emphasis will be placed on the unique gifts African-Americans bring as co-workers in the vineyard.
The third workshop will look at the role that religious sisters and brothers share in ministering in the Catholic Church. These men and women use their gifts as educators, healers, community builders, and warriors against HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, racism and other social ills.
The choir competition will be held from 1:30-2:15 p.m. and features works from African-American composers.
A prelude to the Mass and celebration of the Eucharist will close the event.
The cost of the Black Catholic Heritage Celebration is $20 for adults, $15 for youths, and $10 for children.
contact the Office of Ethnic
Ministries at (864) 242-
2233 ext. 209 or 214; e-mail