Chronology

This chronology offers a list of selected dates related to the Federated Colored Catholics website.

  • 1829
    • The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first black religious order of women in the United States, is established in Baltimore, Maryland by a small group of the city's Haitian-Americans.
  • 1842
    • The Sisters of the Holy Family is founded in New Orleans, Louisiana by two free women of color, Henriette Delille and Juliette Gaudin, making it the second religious order for black women in the United States.
  • 1843
    • The Society of the Holy Family, believed to be the first African-American Catholic lay organization, is established in Baltimore, Maryland. The society disbands two years later when the Archdiocese of Baltimore refuses to allow it to continue to use space in one of its buildings, Calvert Hall.
  • 1847
    • Former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass begins publishing the newspaper, North Star.
  • 1854
    • James Augustine Healy, the son of an African-American slave mother and an Irish-immigrant father, is ordained in Paris, France, becoming the first African-American priest.
  • 1857
    • The United States Supreme Court declares that blacks are not citizens of the United States in Dred Scott v. Sandford.
    • Influential white Catholic Orestes Brownson argues that slavery is not an evil itself and that northern states have no right to interfere with it where it has been legally established; he does, however, oppose the westward expansion of slavery.
  • 1859
    • Abolitionist John Brown and a group of his followers attack a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
  • 1861
    • Bishop Augustin Verot of Florida gives a sermon attacking abolitionists as anti-Catholics while calling for respect of the rights of free blacks and the recognition of the matrimonial rights of slaves.
    • Archbishop Hughes of New York writes in The Metropolitan Record that by becoming slaves, Africans are saved from the "butcheries prepared for them in their native land."
  • 1862
    • Archbishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati, Ohio publicly calls for the emancipation of the slaves.
  • 1863
    • Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • 1864
    • Francis Patrick Healy, brother of James Augustine, is ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Liege, France.
  • 1865
    • The Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, passes.
  • 1866
    • Archbishop Martin J. Spalding of Baltimore calls for a second plenary council, partially in response to the growing need for religious care for former slaves; attending bishops remain divided over the issue of separate parishes for African-American Catholics.
  • 1868
    • The Fourteenth Amendment is passed making blacks citizens of the United States.
  • 1871
    • The English Mill Hill Fathers arrive in Baltimore and accept control of Saint Francis Xavier Parish.
  • 1874
    • Father Francis Patrick Healy becomes president of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1875
    • Father James Augustine Healy is consecrated as second bishop of the Diocese of Portland, Maine.
  • 1877
    • President Rutherford B. Hayes recalls the last federal troops from the South ending Reconstruction.
  • 1886
    • Augustus Tolton, a former slave, is ordained a priest in Rome and returns to the United States to minister to the needs of African-American Catholics in the Midwest.
  • 1889
    • Daniel Rudd, a former slave and Ohio journalist, organizes the first Black Catholic Congress for lay men. They Congress meets in Washington, D.C. and discusses issues such as education, job training, and "the need for family virtues."
  • 1891
    • Charles Uncles becomes the first African-American priest ordained in the United States.
  • 1893
    • The American branch of the Mill Hill Fathers reestablishes itself as the Society of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Josephites).
    • Black Catholic Lay Congress in Chicago, Illinois calls for the opening of labor unions to African-Americans and for the creation of black national parishes similar to ones established for European Catholic immigrant communities.
  • 1895
    • Booker T. Washington delivers his "Atlanta Compromise" speech in which he emphasizes economic and educational progress for African-Americans while discounting campaigns for political power and social equality.
  • 1896
    • The United States Supreme Court upholds the legal concept of separate but equal in Plessy v. Ferguson.
  • 1909
    • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York City.
  • 1917
    • Thomas Wyatt Turner and a group of African-American Catholics in Washington, D.C. establish the "Committee Against the Extension of Race Prejudice in the Church" to address anti-African American discrimination in the Catholic Church.
  • 1919
    • The Committee Against the Extension of Race Prejudice in the Church expands from 15 to 25 members and changes its name to the "Committee for the Advancement of Colored Catholics."
  • 1920
    • The Universal Negro Improvement Association, a body founded by Marcus Garvey, holds its first convention in New York City.
  • 1920
    • The Society of the Divine Word establishes the first seminary for black candidates for the priesthood in Greenville, Mississippi.
  • 1924
    • The Committee for the Advancement of Colored Catholics, the Knights of America and the Knights of Saint John establish the Federated Colored Catholics (FCC).
  • 1925
    • A. Philip Randolph founds the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
    • The FCC elects Thomas Wyatt Turner its first president. Father John LaFarge, a Jesuit priest ministering to the needs of African-American Catholics in southern Maryland expresses his support for the FCC.
  • 1929
    • Father William Markoe, a Jesuit priest in Saint Louis, Missouri, offers the use of his parish newsletter, the St. Elizabeth Chronicle, to promote the FCC and its events.
  • 1930
    • At the FCC convention in Detroit, Michigan, Father LaFarge, with Father Markoe and Turner absent, redirects the goals of the organization from protesting discrimination against African-American Catholics within the Church to interracial activity.
  • 1931
    • Nine African-American youths, the "Scottsboro Boys," are falsely accused of raping two white women in Scottsboro, Alabama.
    • Fathers LaFarge and Markoe continue to redirect the FCC toward interracial activity, while Turner and his supporters protest the growing influence of the clergy in the organization and advocate greater African-American Catholic solidarity.
  • 1932
    • After a heated debate, the FCC changes its name to the National Catholic Federation for the Promotion of Better Race Relations. Father Markoe then changes the name of the organization's journal to the Interracial Review. Turner protests and is removed from the presidency and the FCC splinters.
  • 1933
    • Turner and his supporters in the eastern United States reestablish the FCC with Turner as its president.
    • Father Markoe turns over the Interracial Review, the journal of the renamed National Catholic Interracial Federation, to Father LaFarge when he is reassigned to the northwestern United States, where he continues to promote interracial justice until his death in 1969.
  • 1934
    • Elijah Muhammad becomes the leader of the Black Muslim movement.
    • Father LaFarge makes the Interracial Review the journal of a new organization, the Catholic Interracial Council of New York.

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