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Juneteenth will be celebrated throughout the United States on June 19 as a federal holiday, giving Americans ample opportunity to honor the legacy—and eventual freedom—of African Americans enslaved under state-sanctioned bondage.

For Black Catholics, the day may hold special significance, as the original Juneteenth celebrations were born from the 1865 decree known as General Order No. 3, issued in Galveston, Texas, where the last enslaved African Americans remained for some time after Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863. In that same city in 1528, an enslaved Black Catholic explorer named Esteban became one of the first Africans to set foot in what would become the United States.

Below can be found a variety of events celebrating Juneteenth this year in the Catholic tradition, those organized by Catholics, as well as those being held in a Catholic venue.

(This list is not exhaustive. All the included information is subject to change and should be confirmed with event organizers. Please contact your local diocese, Black Catholic office, or a Black parish in your area for any additional events in your area.)

National

Baton Rouge

Bridgeport

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Wilton with Dr. Julie Hughes and Fr Reggie Norman at 6:30pm ET.

Camden

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at Christ the King Catholic Church in Haddonfield with Br Mickey McGrath, OSFS at 7pm ET.
  • 6/22: Juneteenth prayer service at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church at 11:30am ET.

Charleston

Charlotte

Chicago

Cleveland

Dallas 

Davenport

Denver

6/19: Juneteenth Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Fr Eric David Zegeer and music from Higher Ground at 9am MT.

Detroit

Galveston-Houston

Jefferson City

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at St. Joseph Catholic Church Hall in Fayette with Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson Jr. at 6:19pm CT.

Los Angeles

  • 6/19: Juneteenth Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westwood with Fr Steve Bell, CSP at 9am PT.
  • 6/19: Juneteenth Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Wilmington with Fr Claude Williams, O.Praem at 3pm PT.

Louisville

  • 6/15: Juneteenth celebration at St. Monica Catholic Church in Bardstown with keynote speaker Tia Arnett at 12pm ET.

Nashville

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at the Christ the King Catholic School field at 5:30pm CT. Food will be provided and bring a side to share.

Newark

New York

Oakland

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

  • 6/19: Juneteenth celebration at Duquesne University’s Union Africa Room with Jacqueline Clarke at 11am ET.

Richmond

Rochester

San Diego

  • 6/16: Juneteenth Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church with Cardinal Robert McElroy and Fr Bart Landry, CSP at 8:30am PT. Reception to follow.

St. Augustine

St. Louis

Washington

Wichita

  • 6/15: Juneteenth parade at Holy Savior Catholic Academy at 11:30am CT. Celebration to follow.

Wilmington


Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger.


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