Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt, the director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University, was the featured speaker at the annual Black Saints Celebration Nov. 15 at St. Katharine Drexel Church in New Orleans.
Father Nutt said African–American Catholics have followed the example of the saints by persevering in their faith despite barriers erected by civil society and even the church itself.
“We have chosen to give God ‘total praise,’” Father Nutt said, echoing the gathering’s theme of “Standing Together: Walk Together Children, Don’t You Get Weary.”
Father Nutt said one of the reasons black saints are venerated is precisely their forbearance in the face of injustice.
“It’s important for us to understand that what made these holy men and women virtuous and holy was their ability to worship, no matter what,” he said. “I’m talking about in good times and in bad times, they gave God praise.”