By Dr. Ansel Augustine
This has been a very interesting month within the Catholic community, specifically in the Black Catholic community. Two of our “fathers in the community” have transitioned on to their next chapter in life. One has passed into heaven and the other has retired. These men have been very inspiring to me and I am thankful to share more about them with you!
Father Cyprian Davis OSB, the author of many books, specifically THE HISTORY OF BLACK CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES, was very active in helping to tell the story and contributions of Black Catholics. He was also an instructor at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana during the summer over the past 35 years. More about Fr. Cyprian can be found here.
Dr. Norman Francis, the longest serving College/University president announced officially stepped into his, well deserved, retirement this month. He helped transformed Xavier University of Louisiana into a world leader for education. Xavier University is ranked #1 in educating and preparing African Americans for medical school. By being the ONLY HBCU (Historically Black College or University) that is Catholic and the only Catholic University founded by a Saint – St. Katharine Drexel – Xavier University is a unique jewel in our New Orleans scene. We thank Dr. Francis for his years of service to help generations of young adults fulfill their potential to make society a better place. More can be found about Dr. Francis here.
Thanks for learning more about these Fathers in our Faith Community! Happy Father’s Day, NOLA Catholics!
Dr. Ansel Augustine is the Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Previously he served as the Associate Director/Coordinator of Black Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the CYO Youth & Young Adult Ministry Office. He is also on the Faculty of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. Ansel has served on the board of directors for the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA) and the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). He began his career in ministry over 16 years ago when he became the youth minister at his home parish of St. Peter Claver in the Treme area of New Orleans, which he helped to rebuild following hurricane Katrina. He has presented workshops and keynotes around the country and has written various pieces related to ministry. Ansel presently serves on the board for the New Orleans Black Indian Alliance (NOBIA) and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of Peter Claver, and the Wild Tchoupitoulas (Black Masking) Mardi Gras Indians.