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5 Inspiring Catholics to follow during Black History Month

5 Inspiring Catholics to follow during Black History Month

Courtesy of Damon Owens - Sr. Josephine Garrett - Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers - Gloria Purvis - Fr. Josh Johnson

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 02/14/24

In honor of Black History Month, here are five dynamic Catholics to follow to find daily encouragement and inspiration.

February is Black History Month, making it a prime opportunity for Catholics to learn about the many Black saints and holy persons who have spread the Gospel throughout the centuries. One of these is a beloved saint of the 20th century, St. Josephine Bakhita, whose feast day is February 8.

In honor of Black History Month, here are five Catholics to follow to find daily encouragement and inspiration. These men and women have answered God’s call to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth, carrying the light of Christ to others through their words and example in a public way.

Sister Josephine Garrett

We at Aleteia are long-time fans of the exuberant Sr. Josephine! She is a religious sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth, a licensed counselor, and author and podcast host of Hope Stories with Black Catholics. Follow her work for inspiration, hope… and lots of joyful laughter!

Fr. Josh Johnson

It’s been almost five years since I first spoke to the inimitable Fr. Josh about his ministry for this article. At the time, all he had accomplished amazed me; since then, his awe-inspiring work for the kingdom has grown by leaps and bounds. 

Today he is director of vocations for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus, Podcast Host of “Ask Fr Josh” with Ascension Presents, and author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation

Gloria Purvis

A podcast host, speaker, and celebrated public intellectual, Purvis was creator and host of the EWTN TV series Authentically Free at Last, hosts The Gloria Purvis Podcast, served as a consultant for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Religious Liberty, and was named Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic of the Year for 2020. 

Purvis served as the inaugural Pastoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Life and Human Dignity at the McGrath Institute for Church Life, and currently she is serving as a scholar in residence at St. Martin’s University for the 2023-24 academic year. You can read more about her life and work here.

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

Known around the world as the “Dynamic Deacon,” Burke-Sivers is the author of six books, host or co-host of several popular EWTN television series, a husband and father, and a powerful and passionate evangelist and preacher who travels the world sharing the Good News of Jesus and the truth of the Catholic faith. He is the host of Beacon of Truth on EWTN Radio, has appeared in the major motion picture Power in My Hands, and his video reflections on the Mass readings are featured by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

With degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dallas, and as a Benedictine Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey, Burke-Sivers is a deeply informed and wise speaker and writer. His no-nonsense approach to living and proclaiming the Catholic faith brings inspiration and challenge, and he is especially knowledgeable about marriage and family life, discerning God’s will, the sacraments, male spirituality, evangelization, and prayer.

Damon Owens

Damon Owens has served as an international speaker and evangelist for decades, focusing his work on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, adoption, and NFP. 

Owens currently serves as founder and executive director of joytob, a Catholic teaching ministry, but he began his career with 16 years in the technology sectory before selling out of his firm to found organizations dedicated to building a marriage culture through training, seminars, and conferences. 

He also has served as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute and Chairman of the International Theology of the Body Congress. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.

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