By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — Former St. Joseph Maysville pastor Fr. Stephen Sohe, S.S.J said the National Black Catholic History Month Mass is a time to recognize the gifts black Catholics provide to the Church.
Fr. Sohe, now pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Houston, returned to Mobile on Nov. 16 to deliver the homily at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
“This is giving thanks to God for who we are what we do for the universal church. This is a celebration of who we are and the gifts we bring to the universal Church,” Fr. Sohe said during his homily.
November was first designated Black Catholic History Month in 1990 by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States and Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi has celebrated an annual Mass in recognition since 2016.
Fr. Sohe originally celebrated National Black Catholic History Month while at St. Joseph Maysville and was key in making it an annual archdiocesan celebration.
“When we had the celebration, it came to me, ‘I think it’s time to take this thing downtown,’ ” Fr. Sohe said with a smile. “We have this faith that is visible, that is vibrant and is full of the Holy Spirit. You want to celebrate that.”