How the Lyke Foundation
addresses the 2012 National Black Catholic Congress Pastoral Plan.

by Daniel Rudd

The Lyke Foundation cultivates, celebrates and commissions leadership to develop powerful and effective Black Catholic worship. In order for our Black Catholic Faith community to be “authentically black and truly Catholic,” (WWHSAH) there must be a well-educated community of leaders, both in the rich heritage of Black religious prayer and ritual, and also in opportunities for strategies for collaborative ministry. Being a credible liturgical resource, the Lyke Foundation calls Black Catholic to embrace their birthright and awakens Catholics to engage the richness and giftedness of the Black community in the vibrant nature of the Catholic Church.

From its beginning to the present day (2004-2015), the Archbishop James P. Lyke Conference, sponsored by the Lyke Foundation has fostered nine of the ten areas of the NBCC Pastoral Plan – Holiness of Life; Life and Dignity of the Human Person; Walking with the Saints; Engaged in Parish Life and Evangelization; Faith Informed; Reaching Out to the Next Generations; Vocations — Every Catholic’s Priority; Getting Married and Staying Married; and the Social Apostolate. The best and brightest of our scholars, activists and community facilitators have been invited to present workshops, lead discussions and model the best of our Black Catholic spirituality for the Lyke Conference participants for the last decade. In the spirit of Daniel Rudd, the Lyke Conference has taken the initiative in developing Black Catholic lay leadership, and in making welcome those others who minister in Black Catholic communities who wish to refine their skills, deepen their knowledge and forge strong alliances.

HOLINESS OF LIFE: relevant and powerful liturgies that celebrate the sacramental life of the Church, that call people to holiness and wholeness, by engaging in rituals that are Black and Catholic, for all age-groups and backgrounds.

LIFE AND THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON: engaging participants to protect the dignity and sacredness of all human life; challenging people to combat root causes of violence by raising the awareness through workshops on racism, social and church systems that discriminate and dehumanize the plight of Blacks in all walks of life.

WALKING WITH THE SAINTS: We have a long tradition of remembering not only the Black Saints, but also our forbearers of fortitude and faith. We feel the charge to connect the past with the present through the “cloud of witnesses” who have taught us by word and deed. “All Christians are called to spread the Good News through word and deed.”

ENGAGE IN PARISH LIFE AND EVANGELIZATION: through providing insights that can be used in worship and catechetical programs for adults and children. This year, in particular, we will provide celebrations of Black Catholic people and documents that have shaped the faith and witness of Black Catholicism.  We desire to create innovative approaches for strengthening parishes and inspiring evangelical outreach.

“We cannot engage our faith without understanding it.”  The Lyke foundation wants to challenge the ignorance of Black Catholic Testimony and Heritage through FAITH INFORMED.  Working with liturgists and musicians, youth and scholars, we have committed ourselves to be a proven resource for faith formation and spiritual growth within the Church.

With a vibrant and assertive youth track and children’s track, the Lyke Foundation is REACHING OUT TO THE NEXT GENERATION. We are committed to educational, social, spiritual and other critical issues that plague our youth and to call them to being the Good News of Christ to their peers and society.  We engage them in worship, song and dance, social activities that stretch them to go into the deep, reaching out on the everlasting arms of the Almighty.

The Lyke Foundation promotes VOCATIONS – EVERY CATHOLIC’S PRIORITY, by using religious brothers, sisters and seminarians in many aspects of leadership in liturgical roles for prayer services and in workshops on various areas of Black Catholic Ministry.

Each year the Lyke Foundation has workshops on GETTING MARRIED AND STAYING MARRIED in the Church. We see this as a vital aspect of family and faith values that strengthens the Black Catholic Community and its significance to life itself.

Lastly, but not least, the Lyke Foundation promotes THE SOCIAL APOSTOLATE through workshops and liturgies that address the moral and obligations of the Catholic Church in advocacy efforts, in solidarity with the poor and marginalized in our community.

The Lyke Foundation is committed to the faith formation of Black Catholics at all levels of life. We desire to be a resource not only to predominant Black parishes but also to churches who desire to support and strengthen the lives of Black Catholics in the pew and in the community.  We are committed to doing our best and being the best resource for Black Catholicism that we can be.  The Lyke Foundation believes it continues its mission to respond to the God who created us Black and Catholic, who calls us to “feed my sheep.”