The Church in the United States is greatly blessed by the contributions of Black Catholics and the legacy of holiness of so many men and women of color. These men and women lived lives that are worthy of our study and emulation.
In Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood, Michael R. Heinlein provides the first book to explore the lives of the six Black Catholics from the United States whose causes are under formal consideration by the Catholic Church for canonization. Including biographies and personal reflections from diverse contributors, this book shows how these six men and women provide a model of holiness for all Catholics and people of good will. Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Venerable Henriette Delille, Venerable Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman are sources of inspiration for us all.
As we continue to pray for the advancement of their causes for canonization, all Catholics of every race can learn a great deal from these holy men and women. By their stories of faith and virtue, they show us how to respond to the call to holiness, bringing healing, reconciliation, and peace to our wounded nation and world.
"It is my profound honor to add my voice in support of Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood. This book gives an insightful look at the Black Americans that are on the path to canonized sainthood in the Catholic Church. The book introduces readers to six Black Americans who dealt in their lifetimes with the human denigration and suffering that is manifested by America s Original Sin of racism. Yet they not only persevered, but truly lived as Christian people, which so many Americans claim to be, but whose actions do not support that claim. These Black Americans sought to show love, compassion, and forgiveness to all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or station in life. All of the men and women you will meet in Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood - through their faith in God and by giving of themselves to God's people, their sisters and brothers - did what Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman said: 'we must return love, no matter what.' These men and women show us the way forward."
Most Reverend Roy E. Campbell, Jr.,
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, President of the National Black Catholic Congress
"Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood is an inspiring look at six holy Black men and women who mirrored Christ in service to others. All of them persevered, despite the many rejections they encountered, giving Black Catholics today the inspiration to meet the obstacles of racial inequity with equal grace and love, and providing insight to all Catholics, regardless of race, into the effects of systemic racism and the many gifts and talents people of color bring to the Church. The accompanying reflections, written by Catholic laity and religious, provide deeper insight into the lives of the six candidates for Canonization, and how best we can learn from them and emulate their examples in our own lives."
The National Black Catholic Congress
"Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood is a great expose on the lives and faith of some of our Black ancestors who responded with both prayer and action to overcome racism. Discovering through this book their life stories, their suffering, and their faith-filled response, one is inspired to seek the conversion of hearts with regard to racism through prayer and action so that we too can aspire to be saints by the manner in which we love one another.