c/o St. Clare Friary
440 West 36th Street New York, N.Y. 10018-6326
Voice: 212.868.1847

 News Release                                                              News Release

National Black Catholic Vigil for Life 2009


          MRS. SADIE MITCHELL          


 New York City-November 4, 2009---At the end of last month, the month of October (designated as “Respect Life Month”), on a beautiful fall day, in the Archdiocese of
New York, Mrs. Sadie Mitchell, a highly-respected, “full of life” elder was laid to rest.


Ms. Sadie Mitchell, a 92-year old, still active member of her Bronx community and the Church of Our Lady of Grace, while alone in her home of over 50 years, was shot to death by a stray bullet, the result our young people fighting on the streets. The death of Ms. Sadie has brought much sorrow and pain to her daughter, Dr. Shahron Williams Van Rooij, and to all in the community who knew Ms. Sadie, and to the many others, who had not known her, but heard or read of the sad story of her death in the media.

The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life (NBCAL), on behalf of all its membership, extends its sympathy to Ms. Sadie’s daughter, other family members and many friends, especially Mr. and Mrs. John Fields (who were good neighbors to Ms. Sadie and responded promptly to her last minute call for help), and the Church family of Our Lady of Grace in the Bronx, New York.  They can be assured that the soul of Mrs. Sadie Mitchell has been remembered in our Masses and continues to be lifted up in the prayers of so many. “NBCAL was pleased to have been represented at the wake and funeral by Br. Tyrone Davis, Director of the Office of Black Ministry for the Archdiocese. We are especially pleased that the entire Catholic community was represented at the wake by the Archbishop of New York, Archbishop Timothy Dolan; and at the funeral by Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh” said Father James E. Goode, O.F.M., President of NBCAL.

In the wake of Ms. Sadie’s death and the countless other acts of needless violence that have occurred in New York and communities across this land, The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life once more calls on the Black community to renew their commitment to defend the sacredness of all human life.  “ That every life is sacred from the moment of conception to its natural end is not just a statement of public policy but rather a core belief of our Catholic faith,” said Father Jim.  He also states that “the senseless violence inflicted on Ms. Sadie Mitchell and so many others in our community, from the very young to the very elderly, has had a profound impact on us all—it calls into question our very sense of humanity.  This ‘culture of death’ is claiming, at a high cost, our future generations and now the great representations of our past, our elders.” 

This past June throughout the United States, the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life declared June as “Abortion and All Acts of Violence Awareness Month.”  Members in parishes and institutions in the Archdiocese of New York and around the country boldly resolved and committed themselves to pray for the end of the evil of abortion and all acts of violence that is destroying the human family and Body of Christ in their community, and to boldly stand up for the dignity of life.

“At this time and throughout this month of November, as we in the Catholic tradition have just celebrated the lives of the great holy men and women that we call saints (All Saints Day), and prayerful remember the souls of all our faithfully departed, including Ms. Sadie (All Souls Day), we call upon all the members of our community and apostolate to renew that commitment,” states Fr. Jim. “To this end, we are declaring

Friday November 20, 2009 as a
and all those who have been victims of a violent death.  On that day, let us all take the time to pray in a special way (at Masses or in private or group prayer) for an end to the
“Culture of Death” and an increase in our Respect for Life.  Let us also use this time as a teachable moment to discuss among our families and neighbors how we can put an end that which is destroying our history and acting against our Faith.”
Our Lady of Grace & Mercy, pray for us!


For more information, contact the
National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life
(212) 868-1847
or the
Office of Black Ministry at (212) 371-1011, ext. 2681.


The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life was inaugurated in the fall of 1997, with the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus and the Franciscan Solid Ground Ministry as sponsors and with the support of John Cardinal O'Connor, Archbishop of New York and the Archdiocese's Office of Black Ministry.



NBCAL Board of Consultants


Most Rev. J. Terry Steib, S.V.D., DD Episcopal Advisor,
 Rev. Fr. James E. Goode, OFM, Ph.D President - NBCAL, Dr. Beverly A. Carroll
 Rev. Fr. Fred J. Briers. CR (NBCCC), Ms. Therese Wilson Favors, (NABCA), Very Rev. Glenn D. Parker, CSsR (NBCCC),
Supreme Knight Gene A. Phillips, Sr., (KPC), Supreme Lady Geralyn C. Shelvin (KPCLA),
Deacon Paul Richardson  Pres.(NAAACD), Rev. Monsignor Mauricio West, V.G. (NBCCC), Michael Youngblood (NAACYMN),  
Ms. Kathleen A. Merritt, Pres. NABCA (Ex-officio), Sister Roberta Fulton, SSMN, Pres. NBSC (Ex-officio),
Fr.  Anthony Bozeman, SSJ, Pres. NBCCC (Ex-officio)

National Black Catholic Congress

Xavier University,

          Institute for Black Catholic Studies

National Black Catholic Congress

Xavier University,

          Institute for Black Catholic Studies