African American Catholics

The most current issue of Our Sunday Visitor (2/5/12) has an article on African American Catholics. The whole article is very interesting but one family stood out. Michael Healy, an Irish immigrant, and his common-law wife and slave, Eliza Clark, had ten children together. They were unable to marry because the laws of the time (early 1800’s) prohibited interracial marriage. Even worse, the children born to them were considered slaves. Therefore, the parents sent their children North for their education and freedom.

Their son James, a Suplician,  became the Bishop of Portland, Maine. Their son Patrick, a Jesuit (pictured left), became President of Georgetown University. Sherwood was the rector of Holy Cross Cathedral, Boston. Two of their daughters, Josephine and Eliza, became nuns with the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph and the Congregation of Notre Dame in Canada. What sacrifices the parents made on behalf of their children! What wonderful formation the children must have received from others known only to God! God bless all parents who give so much for the welfare of their children.

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