The mission of the St. Charles Lwanga Center is to promote Catholic teaching, Catholic spiritual formation and leadership development, including advocacy for justice and racial equity concerns within the Black Catholic Community and for all who collaborate with them, in accord with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Center is named after Charles (Karoli/Carl) Lwanga, a leader among a group of 22 young men who were martyred between 1885 and 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized St. Charles Lwanga and Companions in 1964.
There was a desire for a house or center of spirituality within the African-American Community and between 1976-1979 the parishioners and staff of the former Most Blessed Sacrament Parish ventured to explore the possibility of using the former convent as a house of spiritual formation and leadership development. The pastor was instrumental in bringing clergy/religious and laity together for formal establishment in 1978. It was important that as many parishes as possible were represented, which led the parishes to agree to sponsor the efforts of the Center.
Currently, there are 10 sponsoring parishes.
In consultation with Archbishop Robert Carlson, the Board of Directors ratified a revised Constitution and Bylaws in April, 2017, affirming the expanded scope of the Center. As such, the St. Charles Lwanga Center, while retaining its proper name and symbol is also known as the Archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries. The Board of Directors continues the vision of the reconstituted St. Charles Lwanga Center. The Board consists of representatives from the sponsoring parishes and organization, along with at-large members.
2017 National Black Catholic Congress XII Pastoral Plan of Action developed by delegates who were appointed by bishops from the dioceses of the United States. Click Here
Due to the continuing wave of precautionary measures surrounding the coronavirus, the 37th Annual St. Charles Lwanga Center Testimonial Dinner and Auction previously scheduled for Sunday, March 22, 2020 has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021. Please contact the center for additional information. We will remain compliant with updated archdiocesan and governmental mandates concerning the rescheduling of the celebration. We thank everyone for your continual support.
Additionally, let us pray and live our lives accordingly in faith for the continual pursuit of justice. Cognizant of the ongoing obstacles of the multifaceted effects of racism, these can be grace filled responses to the harrowing events in our country. Let our determined efforts be concentrated not only in public outrage, but introspectively and interpersonally for the transformation of minds and hearts as inspiration for lasting changes in our world.