Cardinal Dolan will be the principal celebrant and homilist of the annual Black History Month Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.
The Mass will also serve as recognition of the National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African Family.
“Our special pastoral focus this year will be the ‘Women of Our Families, Parishes and Community,’ acknowledging and celebrating their important role in all these entities,” said Brother Tyrone Davis, C.F.C, director of the archdiocesan Office of Black Ministry. He noted that “any interested person” is welcome to participate in the liturgy’s Combined Choir.
Along with the focus on women’s groups and societies that serve the Church, Brother Tyrone said “we will be acknowledging a number of women for their great faith and extraordinary service with a new award—the Bakhita Award for Faith and Service, in honor of St. Josephine Bakhita,” a former slave from Sudan who served with the Canossian Sisters in Italy during the first half of the 20th century and was canonized in 2000.
Brother Tyrone said he and other organizers expect Church group and society women to attend “in great numbers—some in their distinctive uniforms, along with their families.” Church groups and societies to be represented include the Altar Rosary Society, Christian Mothers Association, Catholic Women of Harlem and Pan African Catholic Women.