The 12th National Black Catholic Congress concluded in Orlando, Florida, on July 9 with the participating 2,000-plus delegates committing to the principles outlined in the new Pastoral Plan of Action. The pastoral priorities include:
> We believe the Holy Spirit, who is Lord and giver of life, is upon us. Because of this, we recommit ourselves to live our baptism as Catholics, be “authentically black and truly Catholic” and seek leadership in our Church on all levels.
> We commit ourselves to promote the causes for canonization of the five holy women and men being considered for sainthood in our Church.
> We commit ourselves to act justly by living in proximity with those who are suffering and neglected. Specifically, we seek to promote the dignity and life of every person, from the unborn to natural death. We commit ourselves to dismantle racism in all forms, which is an obstacle to justice and evangelization. We also commit ourselves to address the challenges of mental illness, mass incarceration, domestic violence and others.
> We commit ourselves to love goodness by sharing our faith with others using creative ways, especially social media, as we evangelize in our community. We commit ourselves to support our Catholic schools in our community.
> We commit ourselves to walk humbly with our God and affirm the universal call to holiness as it is lived out in all forms of vocations in our Church — marriage, single life, consecrated women and men and clergy.
> We commit ourselves to listen and respond to the needs of the youths and young adults in our community as we pass on this legacy of our faith.
> We commit to align these priorities with the outcomes of the Convocation of Catholic Leaders as “missionary disciples” called to spread the joy of the Gospel.
> Finally, we commit ourselves to apply these priorities on the local diocesan, regional and national levels and review them on a yearly basis.