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Father Josh Johnson Inspires Youth Towards Holiness

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The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC), a significant event held every five years, is currently underway in National Harbor, Maryland. One of the prominent speakers at this year's congress is Father Josh Johnson, a priest, pastor, and vocations director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Father Johnson's mission is clear: to form saints. He aims to inspire the faithful, especially young African Americans, to respond to the call to holiness.

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Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/21/2023 (7 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: National Black Catholic Congress, youth, inspiration, Fr. Josh Johnson

The NBCC is organized by a team of ecclesial and lay leaders, including Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr., and draws several thousand participants, including priests, bishops, religious, and lay faithful from African American communities across the nation. The congress seeks to enrich the Church by addressing the spiritual needs of Black Catholics and fostering an ongoing agenda for evangelization among African Americans. Attendees engage in talks, discussions, liturgies, and eucharistic adoration, creating an atmosphere of intentional prayer, fellowship, and worship.

This year's event, held from July 20 to July 23, features over 3,000 participants, including distinguished guests like Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory and the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Cardinal-elect Christophe Pierre. Father Josh Johnson, with his compelling message, is contributing three presentations during the congress, focusing on vocations, saints, and adoration. His influence on young Catholics, particularly young African Americans, has been profound.

For many young African American Catholics, witnessing Black clergy and religious is a rare occurrence. Father Johnson's presence and example at the NBCC provide inspiration and encouragement for those contemplating a vocation within the Church. He is the chaplain of "Vagabond Missions," a ministry dedicated to underprivileged, inner-city youth, and hosts a popular podcast called "Ask Father Josh," which resonates with the younger generation.

During his talks, Father Johnson will shine a spotlight on six African American Catholics whose causes for canonization are currently being considered by the Vatican. By highlighting the lives of these holy witnesses, he hopes to ignite a desire for sainthood among young people, urging them to follow in the footsteps of these role models.

Despite the challenges facing the Church and the declining number of priests and seminarians in the United States and the West, Father Johnson remains optimistic. He believes that the quality of candidates entering seminary formation is high, citing their genuine desire for holiness and personal relationships with God. He emphasizes the importance of helping young people encounter the love of Jesus Christ through prayer, as it fosters authentic and fruitful vocations.

While the numbers may be smaller, Father Johnson draws inspiration from the biblical story of Gideon, where a smaller army proved more effective with God's intervention. Similarly, he believes that a smaller but spiritually rooted group of men responding to the call of God can make a significant impact on the Church's mission.

Father Josh Johnson's contributions at the National Black Catholic Congress are a beacon of hope for the future of the Church. By inspiring young African American Catholics towards saintliness and deepening their relationship with God, he believes that the next generation of seminarians and priests will play a pivotal role in serving the Church and the United States of America. Through events like the NBCC, the Church can continue its journey towards inclusivity, spiritual growth, and greater devotion to holiness.

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Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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