God to the Seventh Power Celebrating African-American Heritage

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1 God to the Seventh Power Celebrating African-American Heritage A partnership of the Archdiocese of Chicago s Office for Catholic Schools and Office for Black Catholics 1

2 This curriculum is designed to assist Catholic Schools in celebrating the richness and beauty of African-American culture and heritage. It includes information and activities that will help students engage with African-American Catholic spirituality. It may be used during African- American Heritage Month (February) or throughout the year. The theme G 7 means God to the seventh power. It refers to the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) to better understand how these relate to our lives as Catholics. Why Catholic schools celebrate African-American Heritage: 1. To give thanks to God for the cultural diversity in the Church; 2. To honor the universality of our holy Catholic faith; 3. In celebration and thanksgiving to God for the gifts of which He has blessed the African- American Catholic community; There is a rich history in the story of African Americans, and the Church has deep roots in the African-American community. The African-American Heritage Mass (AAHM), which will be held at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 9:30 AM is an opportunity for the entire Church of Chicago to give thanks to God for the Catholic Church in the African- American community. AAHM also affords us the opportunity to learn about the many talents Black Catholics have given back to God, from the time of the Apostles and the Ethiopian Eunuch to Saints Monica and Augustine and Popes Victor, Miltiades, and Gelasius, to Father Augustus Tolton, Mother Mary Lange, and Henriette Delille. 2

3 Objective: Students will learn the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles) and how they correlate to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the example of saints of the Church. Activity: This is a research assignment for junior high and high school students. Students are to pick a principle and demonstrate how the correlating saint exemplifies that principle and sacrament. Students may also find other Black and African saints in place of those listed. Umoja (Unity) Baptism To strive for and maintain unity. St. Victor, Pope/Martyr Kujichagulia (Self Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined, named, created, and spoken for by others. Confirmation Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton or Venerable Henriette Delille Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters and brothers problems our problems and to solve them together. Eucharist St. Katherine Drexel or Dorothy Day Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) Just distribution of wealth Holy Matrimony Catholic Social Teaching: Human Dignity, Solidarity, Subsidiarity Nia (Purpose) Holy Orders To make as our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. St. Martin De Porres Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Reconciliation St. Moses the Moor Imani (Faith) To believe with all our hearts in our God, in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. Anointing of the Sick St. Monica or the Ugandan Martyrs 3

4 Principle: Umoja (Unity) Sacrament: Baptism African-American Heritage Person of Interest: Saint Victor, Pope & Martyr Objective: Students will learn the Nguzo Saba of Umoja or unity, and how it correlates to the teachings of the Catholic Church on Baptism, the sacrament of Unity. Students will also learn about Saint Victor, the first African pope. Activity Ideas: 1) Take children on a tour of the parish. Show them the baptismal font and explain how the sacrament of baptism initiates us into the Church and how the Church is the unified family of God. 2) Explain who Pope Saint Victor I is, and his accomplishments at maintaining unity in the Church. Principle: Kujichagulia (Self Determination) Sacrament: Confirmation People of Interest: Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton Venerable Henriette Delille Objective: Students will learn the Nguzo Saba of Kujichagulia or self determination, and how it correlates to the teachings of the Catholic Church on Confirmation. Students will also learn about Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton the first African-American priest and/or Venerable Henriette Delille, the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family. Activity Ideas: 1) To demonstrate the correlation between self determination and Confirmation have the children pick one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and talk about how they hope to grow in that gift. 2) See prayer ritual on next page. 3) Tell the story of Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton and Venerable Henriette Delille, discuss how they exhibited the principle of Kujichagulia. 4

5 Prayer Ritual You will need A recording of instrumental music or words and music for an appropriate hymn; Olive oil, fragrant oil, a small bowl; Bible or Lectionary or Book of the Gospels. Ritual Prayer Anointing with Oil Gathering Gather the students in the prayer area. Play a recording of instrumental music or an appropriate hymn. Invite the students to settle themselves and to become aware of God s presence within and among them. LEADER: Let us begin as we were baptized. ALL: Make the sign of the cross, saying, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. LEADER: God, our loving Father, you give us the Holy Spirit to be our helper and guide. Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to listen to your word. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. ALL: Amen. Scripture Reading LEADER: Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us listen to the word of God by signing our forehead, lips, and heart with the sign of the cross. READER: A reading from the Acts of the Apostles. ALL: Reverently make the sign of the cross on their forehead, lips, and over their heart. READER: Proclaim or invite a volunteer to proclaim Acts of the Apostles 2:1 42 from the Bible. Conclude the reading, saying, READER: The word of the Lord. ALL: Thanks be to God. Ritual LEADER: Mix olive oil and a few drops of a fragrant oil in a small glass bowl, which you have placed on the prayer table. Tell the students that you will rub the oil on the palms of their hands. Point out that this action is called anointing. Invite the students to process forward, using these or similar words: 5

6 I invite you to come forward in procession. I will anoint the palms of your hands. After I have anointed your hands, please respond, Thanks be to God. Then rub your hands together and rub the oil into your hands. Anoint the palms of each student s hands, saying, Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. CHILD: Thanks be to God. Closing LEADER: God, our loving Father, today our hands were anointed with oil to remind us that at Baptism we were anointed as followers of your Son. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us live as Jesus taught us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. ALL: Amen. 6

7 Principle: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) Sacrament: Eucharist Person of Interest: Saint Katherine Drexel and/or Dorothy Day Objective: Students will learn the Nguzo Saba of Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility, and how it correlates to the teachings of the Catholic Church on Eucharist. Students will also learn about Saint Katherine Drexel and Dorothy Day. Activity Ideas: 1) Discuss with children how the grace we receive from the Eucharist empowers us to be Christ to others in our daily actions, and how Saint Katherine Drexel and Dorothy Day exhibited Ujima. Look for passages in the New Testament that describe the Eucharist. I will give you just a little help this time by giving you the chapters but not the verses: (John 6; Matthew 26; Luke 22; Mark 14; First Letter to the Corinthians 11). In which gospel does Jesus say he is the bread of life descended from heaven? Where does Jesus say: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life? I will give you a hint... It is not the Gospel of Matthew or Mark. 7

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