Bishop Dominic Carmon honored with scholarship
A scholarship in the name of retired Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Carmon has been established for students in the master’s program of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana.
The scholarship is open to African-American Catholics who are active in their parish within the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said Deacon Larry Calvin, director of Human Resources at Xavier University and a deacon at All Saints Church in Algiers.
It was Deacon Calvin who brought up the idea of specially recognizing Bishop Carmon in December 2015 while talking to other African-American deacons in the archdiocese. They discussed appropriate ways to honor the humble and pastoral bishop for his ministries in the Archdiocese of New Orleans as pastor (at the former St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes) and now retired auxiliary bishop who had conferred the sacrament of confirmation on many young adults.
“He was always a very cordial and humble man, an impressive servant of God to all people in the archdiocese,” said Deacon Calvin.
When current Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cheri accompanied Deacon Calvin and Dr. Ansel Augustine, director of the archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries, to discuss their thoughts with Archbishop Gregory Aymond, he suggested a perpetual remembrance of Bishop Carmon’s humility be established, whereby those he had impacted over the years could contribute.
Since Bishop Carmon had celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier and was supportive of its work, the idea materialized for the scholarship at the institute. Bishop Carmon, 85, has given permission to establish the award.
“Our goal is to raise enough money to have an endowed scholarship in his name,” said Deacon Calvin and Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt who will administer the scholarship at the institute that he directs. The interest on an endowed scholarship of $25,000 would cover the annual tuition.
The scholarship will be awarded to one recipient in the early years, but the hope is that it could be awarded to three to five recipients in the future. (Current tuition at the three-week summer institute is approximately $2,000 for two courses.) Father Nutt said tuition needs exist for students attending the institute. In fact, he awards several scholarships annually, so this will help.
The official announcement of the scholarship will come at the annual Black Catholic Saints celebration scheduled Nov. 5 at Xavier’s St. Katharine Drexel Chapel, with Bishop Carmon expected to be present. The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2017 summer session of the institute, Father Nutt said.
Bishop Cheri sees the scholarship as something to “equip people working in the African-American community with theological and pastoral competency to be effective in their ministry,” Father Nutt said.
Those who want to learn more about the scholarship can call Xavier’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 520-7575. To contribute, send a check to Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, Box 66, New Orleans, LA 70125-1098. Office of Institutional Advancement, Attn.: Bishop Dominic Carmon Scholarship.
“We need more leaders like him in the Catholic Church,” said Father Nutt, Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University director. “My hope is to have the recipient possess some of the attributes that Bishop Carmon has such as being a peacemaker and a visionary. These are attributes needed in any given ministry.”