Vatican official to speak at local gathering

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, center, celebrated the July 9 closing Mass of the 12th National Black Catholic Congress in Orlando, Fla. He will be the keynote speaker at the local Archdiocesan Black Catholic Congress on Dec. 9 in Louisville. (CNS Photo Courtesy Nancy Jo Davis, National Black Catholic Congress)

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, center, celebrated the July 9 closing Mass of the 12th National Black Catholic Congress in Orlando, Fla. He will be the keynote speaker at the local Archdiocesan Black Catholic Congress on Dec. 9 in Louisville. (CNS Photo Courtesy Nancy Jo Davis, National Black Catholic Congress)

By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor

The Catholic Church invites humanity to live beyond divisions of race and ethnicity and live in communion as children of God, Cardinal Peter Turkson said during the opening address of the 12th National Black Catholic Congress in July.

The Ghanian cardinal, who serves as prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will bring his message to the Archdiocese of Louisville Dec. 9. He will be the keynote speaker at the fourth Archdiocesan Black Catholic Congress.

“We still can’t believe it’s happening,” said M. Annette Mandley-Turner, executive director of the Office of Multicultural Ministry, which organizes the archdiocesan congress. “We have a groundswell of people who want to be present.”

At the national meeting, “People had never seen a black cardinal. For the black church, this is as close as they’ll ever get to Rome,” she noted. “His message was pretty clear: We’re all responsible for making the community we live in better.”

Mandley-Turner said all are welcome to attend the archdiocesan congress, which is held every other year. This year, it will be presented Dec. 9 at the Flaget Retreat Center, 1935

Lewiston Drive, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We have invited all the parishes to come and be present at this experience,” said Mandley-Turner. “I do not want it to be perceived as a ‘black thing.’ We are all one family. But it’s an opportunity to embrace new learning related to African American Catholics.”

Cardinal Turkson’s address is called “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Act Justly, Love Goodness and Walk Humbly with Your God.”

The day-long event will also feature workshops, Mass and other speakers. Among the speakers are delegates who attended the national congress in July, Father Maurice Nkemefuna Emelu of Gratia Nobis Ministries and  Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz.

Workshops will explore a variety of topics, including: life and human dignity, racism, the lives of the saints, violence and senior members of the church. There will also be a track for young people in grades four to 12.

The cost to attend, which incudes a continental breakfast (served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) and lunch, is $30 for adults and $15 for youth. For more information or to register, call 636-0296 or send an email to omm@archlou.org.

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