We invite you to join us in exploring the diversity of our faith community throughout the year at the events below.
Black History Month
Black History Month is a celebration which commemorates Black Americans’ achievements, honors their contributions to the United States and the world, and recognizes their crucial role in U.S. history. In 1926, this celebration was created by Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson. During the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford extended the celebration to a month. More information about Black History Month can be found here.
National Day of Prayer for the African American Family
The National Day of Prayer for the African American and African Family was established by Fr. James Goode, OFM in 1989. This is a day dedicated to our communities to stand together in solidarity with our African American and African brothers and sisters, to express gratitude to God for our families, and to entrust all our concerns to Jesus. There is a resource aid available that includes a catechetical reflection, a prayer for the African American and African Family, and some suggested activities to mark the occasion. You can download a copy of the resource aid by clicking here.
Interfaith Prayer Service
At the Inter-Religious Prayer Service, which takes place during National Migration Week, we gather together with leaders and faithful of various religious traditions to pray for the needs of migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking.
Asian and Pacific Island Catholics Marian Pilgrimage
Asian and Pacific Islanders from different cultures, countries and up and down the East Coast gather at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate their rich faith and heritage. Families wearing colorful native dresses process down the basilica’s center aisle with banners and holding icons representing their country’s image of Mary.
More Cultural Events
May – World Day of Prayer for the Church in China
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed world Day of Prayer for the Church of China as an act of solicitude and solidarity with the faithful of Asia. Locally, members of the Chinese Catholic community celebrate an evening of prayer, inviting the archdiocesan community to participate in this special bilingual service.
June – Celebration of the Saints of Africa
African and African-American communities celebrate the saints of Africa with a Mass, Rosary procession, youth forum, choir concert and social. The African Catholic Association organizes this under the auspices of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and in collaboration of USCCB.
September – National Migration Week
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is a microcosm of the rich diversity that makes up the United States. This diversity is the result of various and continuous waves of immigration throughout its history that enriches the Catholic Church. Learn more about our Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees efforts here.
September/October – Hispanic Heritage Month
We celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month to honor Hispanic Americans’ rich history, culture, and contributions to the United States. It all started in 1968 when U.S. Rep. George E. Brown from California pioneered the idea of Hispanic Heritage Week.
September – San Lorenzo Mass
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Filipino Catholic Community celebrate the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino martyr and saint, each year with a special Mass. San Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman, husband and father born in Binondo, Manila, around 1600.
November – Black Catholic History Month
Black Catholic History Month is a time when our church in the United States celebrates the rich history and proud heritage of Black Catholics and the many and important contributions that African and African-Americans have made and continue to make to our church. More information can be found here .
November – Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is also known, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people, according to the National Congress of American Indians. More information can be found here.
December – Walk with Mary
The Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach sponsors The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington’s annual Walk with Mary celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. This celebration begins with a procession that leaves from the Shrine of the Sacred Heart and concludes at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with a Rosary and a Mass. More information here .
January Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington hosts an annual Mass celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. each year in January. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington Gospel Mass Choir performs a musical program of spirituals, Gospel, and traditional Catholic music celebrating our common mission to work for social justice for all of God’s people. More information here