Caribbean Catholics of North America to Hold First Caribbean Diversity Convention in Arlington, August 26-28

August 12, 2005

Immigration challenges, developing and accessing resources, and supporting the Caribbean Catholic family are on the agenda for Celebrating Unity in Caribbean Diversity, the first national convention ever held by the Caribbean Catholics of North America (CCNA) and Migration and Refugee Services, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (MRS-PCMR) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The convention will be held August 26-28 at the Sheraton National Hotel, Columbia Pike and Washington Street, Arlington, Virginia.

Speakers at the convention will include many from the Caribbean, such as Bishop Vincent Darius of St. George’s in Grenada, Fr. Clyde Harvey of Trinidad and Tobago, Msgr. Patrick Anthony of St. Lucia, and Sister Barbara Flores of Belize, as well as representatives from CCNA, USCCB, and the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Black Catholics.

The convention is a response to Welcoming the Stranger Among Us, issued by the Catholic Bishops of the United States in 2000. Since its release, Caribbean Catholics have met locally to reflect on the document and how they might share their gifts with the Church in the United States. Celebrating Unity in Caribbean Diversity is the first time they will gather as one group.

The organizers describe the convention as “a rallying call” and “an opportunity for CCNA to educate one another about the richness which its members bring to the Catholic Church in the United States. It is an occasion to foster a sense of community, share experiences and explore ways Caribbean people can continue to participate in the Catholic Church in the United States without abandoning their Caribbean cultural attitudes.”

The $150 registration fee includes materials and some meals. Hotel accommodations are available at a special convention rate from the Sheraton. To register, please contact Brian Doyle, 202-541-3350 or [email protected], or Mary Ellen Davey, 202-541-3223 or [email protected] For information on the program, contact Sr. Joan Angela Edwards, 414-353-4631 or [email protected], or Norma Blaize, 718-270-6466 or [email protected]

In addition to MRS-PCMR and CCNA, convention sponsors include the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Black Catholics, the Embassy of St. Lucia, and the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, U.S. Caribbean Province.

Susan Gibbs, Director of Communications, 301-853-4515
Von Martin, Caribbean Catholics of North America, 301-459-1775