On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate the long history and proud heritage of Black Catholics. During this month we will feature a Black Saint or candidate for Sainthood. This week we have chosen Mother Henriette Delille.
Did you know that the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, is among three African American candidates for the sainthood in the Catholic Church?
Mother Henriette Delille (duh-LEEL) was born in 1812 as a “free person of color”. At the tender age of 17, she and two companions began to help the large slave and free-people-of-color populations in New Orleans. Their efforts led to the formation of the nation’s second religious order for women of color in 1842. Its mission: to care for the aged; to instruct the unlearned; and to care for the poor. Her sainthood cause was opened in 1988 and she is recognized by the Church as a servant of God. Her feastday is November 5.