Martyrdom has been a reality for Christians since the very beginnings of the Church. For two millennia, with varying levels of intensity depending on the time period, large numbers of Christians have shed blood in witness of the faith. We honor these individuals as martyrs and saints.
Outside Catholic circles, the concept of sacramentals is not something widely understood. Sacramentals are not sacraments, like baptism or marriage. Nor are they “good luck charms” or symbols of superstition. They can, however, bring us graces, and they remind us of our closeness with God.
November is Black Catholic History Month, during which we give special recognition to the contributions of Catholics of African descent. Northern Africa had great importance of the early Church, and some of our most well-known saints, including St. Augustine, St. Monica, St. Martin de Porres, St. Felicity, and St. Perpetua, were African or of African descent. Despite the importance of black Catholics throughout Church history, however, African American Catholics have faced discrimination and hardship.
As of August 24, the Archdiocese of Boston is blessed to have two new auxiliary bishops: Bishop Mark O’Connell and CatholicTV’s own Bishop Robert Reed. As modern-day successors of Jesus’s Twelve Apostles, bishops have a big job. That job is always changing and evolving to meet the needs of the Church and the bishop’s specific diocese. In particular, auxiliary bishops are called to take on the duties assigned to them by the Ordinary.