Beverly A. Carroll

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A Funeral Mass was offered Nov. 23 at St. Peter Claver Church in West Baltimore for Beverly A. Carroll, the founding director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Black Catholics, who died Nov. 13 at age 75.

Ms. Carroll was a social justice advocate who spent her life raising her voice for African American Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the United States and the world.

Bishop John H. Ricard, a former auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and current superior general of the Baltimore-based Josephites, celebrated the Mass for his friend. Ms. Carroll worked for many years with Bishop Ricard, who also is the retired bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee.

“She was a great advocate for the community, for the Church, for African Americans in the Church,” said Josephite Father Ray P. Bomberger, pastor of St. Peter Claver parish, to which Ms. Carroll belonged her whole life and served as a parish council member.

“She was interested in the Church, the people of the Church, what was going on, (and) how we could do it better,” he said.

Ms. Carroll, he noted, was instrumental in the rebirth of the National Black Catholic Congress. Under the leadership of Bishop Ricard, the congress, which met five times in the late 19th century, was reactivated. It first met in 1987 and has continued to gather every five years.

One of the results of that first meeting, according to NBCC documents, was the formation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, which Ms. Carroll served as founding director.

In addition, she served as a staff member to the Subcommittee for African American Affairs at the USCCB. Ms. Carroll also led a delegation of African American Catholic women to an international meeting of women in Johannesburg, South Africa,and participated in a conference held in Nigeria to implement the U.S. bishops’ document on solidarity with Africa.

Ms. Carroll served for many years as chief staff officer in the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Office of Urban Vicar.

Burial was at King Memorial Park in Baltimore County. —CNS