Congress XIII (2023)
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Congress XIII

Write the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Thrive

The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) convenes a national congress every five years. Each one renews and develops our mission with a Pastoral Plan. The next congress will be held July 20-23, 2023 at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, Maryland.

Join with other Black Catholics and those who minister to Black Catholics in the United States for a celebration of our faith and culture.

Register Today Welcome Letter


Introducing the Main Celebrant for the Opening Eucharistic Liturgy and Friday's Keynote Speaker, His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, DC

Archbishop Gregory PhotoBorn December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory attended St. Carthage Grammar School, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College of Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. Three years after his ordination he began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome. There he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago on December 13, 1983. On February 10, 1994, he was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL. On December 9, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Gregory as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005. Archbishop Gregory was appointed as the seventh archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC on April 4, 2019, and was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Francis on November 28, 2020.

Introducing the Director of Music for Congress XIII, Ms. Lynne’ Gray

Lynne Gray PhotoMs. Lynne’ Gray, Music Ministry Director at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Washington, D.C.; Chair, NPM African-American Musicians Interest Section.

Lynne’ Gray, a native Washingtonian, is a respected liturgist, arranger, director and composer. Her keen understanding of faith and worship is clearly prevalent in her Psalm settings and energetic spirit. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from The Catholic University of America. During her musical training, Ms. Gray also studied voice and organ. Known as a respected Vocal coach and accompanist, Ms. Gray shared her love for voice in ministry throughout the United States. As a well-respected liturgist and worship leader, Ms. Gray had the privilege of serving on Archdiocese of Washington Liturgical Music Committee, has given numerous workshops on Spirituality, liturgical music ministry, proclamation of word and the importance of music within the liturgical experience. Ms. Gray is currently the Director of Music Ministry at St. Anthony of Padua in Washington, D.C. She is also the Director of the Archdiocese of Washington Gospel Mass Choir who were blessed to sing during the Papal Mass for Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2008.

As a full-time instructor at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Ms. Gray has a passion also for education. She is the Coordinator of Music Theory at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts as well as a respected Vocal Coach. In 2007, Ms. Gray received a Distinguished Music Educator of the Year Award from Yale University in recognition of her excellence in teaching youth. Ms. Gray gives all glory to God for the wonderful works He continues to do through her.

Introducing the Director of Liturgy for Congress XIII, Mr. Rawn Harbor

Rawn Harbor PhotoRawn Harbor is one of the preeminent African American Catholic liturgists and musicians in the U.S. today. A gifted pianist and composer, he is also a much sought-after workshop facilitator, speaker and liturgist.

Harbor studied at Furman University, Howard University, the Catholic University of America, the Catholic Theological Union at Georgetown University and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he earned his master’s in theological studies in 2001. He was adjunct faculty member and director of liturgy and music at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and adjunct faculty and director of the gospel choir at the University of San Francisco. He has taught and served as coordinator of liturgy for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans. Since 1974, Rawn has traveled the country as a liturgist, musician and lecturer.

Rawn collaborated with ValLimar and Frank Jansen, and Val Parker, on the two-volume collection, Psalms from the Soul, the first psalmody collection designed for all who love gospel music.