Black Catholic schools in Arkansas
Catholic schools for black students date back to the late 1800s in Arkansas. In 1960 there were 10 predominately black schools. Today there is only one. Here is a list of the known schools.
The Colored Industrial Institute was a Pine Bluff high school from the 1880s to the early 1900s. Also, the Benedictine Sisters in Pocahontas opened a school, name unknown, in 1888..
Source: Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Little Rock
Crisis hits home
As true today as it was then
In August 1954, Bishop Albert Fletcher challenged Catholics to open their hearts to black Catholics following the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared segregated public schools unconstitutional.
"Let me remind some Catholics that persons of every race, creed and nation should be made to feel at home in every Catholic Church. ... Every Catholic church is God's house ... it is where he dwells, body and soul in the Blessed Sacrament ... He invites everyone without exception to come and visit him. Who are we to draw a line on who is welcome?
"The Catholic Church should be the one place on earth where all men are equal. It is our Lord's home and we are all welcome, rich and poor, learned and illiterate, master and servant, white and colored, saint and sinner. All men are his children. All are his, not our invited guests. Anyone who is good enough for him to invite, certainly ought to be good enough for us to accept. His Church, you know, is catholic."
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