Where did the stereotype that all Blacks are Baptists come from? Hell, we’re not even all Christian. Not to get all Africana Studies Professor on you, but if you really want to know, darn near all the world’s major religions trace their roots back to Black people.

But within all of Christendom, Blackfolk occupy seats in all denominations and flavors. And that includes Catholic churches. And Houston, in particular, has a thriving Black Catholic contingent—which only makes sense, since it seems like nine out of 10 Blackfolk “from” Houston were either actually born in Louisiana (the Black Catholic holy land) or that’s where the majority of “their people” hail from.

Regardless, here are six of the Houston-area’s predominantly Black Catholic congregations. If I left your congregation, please, as Black Baptists love to say, “charge it to my head and not my heart.”

Image of the Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church building.
Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church building.

Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church

4000 Sumpter St, Houston, TX 77020

(713) 672-0026

Our Mother of Mercy not only holds wonderful masses, but has several vibrant ministries impacting members and the community at large.

St. Monica.
St. Monica. Credit, Twitter

St. Monica Catholic Church

8421 W Montgomery Rd, Houston, TX 77088

(281) 447-5837

The people of St. Monica Catholic Church recognize themselves as a community of God’s children called to holiness through Baptism and the Eucharist, to share the love of Christ through the message of the Gospel. Their mission is to pray and worship, teach and share Christ’s saving message as we evangelize, build up, and nurture communities of faith; serving in Christ’s name as they journey with each other to the fullness of eternal life.

The exterior of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Credit: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

4600 Reed Rd, Houston, TX 77051

(713) 738-2311

St. Francis, with the grace of the Holy spirit, proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ as expressed in the beliefs and traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Through a passion for righteousness and consciousness of duty to God, St. Francis seeks to uphold the faithful worship of God in its mission to its church family and the Sunnyside Community.

St. Mary of the Purification Catholic Church

3006 Rosedale St, Houston, TX 77004

(713) 528-0571

St. Mary of the Purification Catholic Church and School, located at 3006 Rosedale and Ennis Streets, Houston, Texas was founded April 5, 1929 under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas. St. Mary’s Catholic Church is considered a cornerstone within the Catholic community and has provided tangible spiritual leadership for residents of the third-ward area of Houston, Texas since its inception. The church motto is “We Are Family;” words considered by the congregation as a mission statement more so than an abstract remark.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Credit St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Credit St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

5102 Dabney St, Houston, TX 77026

(713) 672-7773

On June 26, 1950, Bishop Wendelin J. Nold signed a decree establishing St. Francis of Assisi Parish.  The original parishioners were of Czech and other European origins.  Due to a major demographic change the parish is now predominantly African-American, a small number of Hispanics and a good number of Filipinos who belong to El-Shaddai Charismatic Prayer Group.

The motto of the parish is “One Family, One Love” and was formulated by the present pastor, Fr. Martin Eke, MSP.  The parish is served by the Missionary of St. Paul of Nigeria. Here’s their mission statement: “We envision a caring, loving community of men, women and children who possess a genuine Christian concern for one another, a unified family where the members, aware of God’s presence in each of them and led by His spirit are able to work, pray and play together; a faith-filled community where gospel values are studied, lived, nurtured, shared and celebrated; a community of individuals and groups traveling together on a common faith journey; a community harmoniously working for the kingdom; a community that is active in service and evangelization.”

Historical marker of St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Credit St. Nicholas.
Historical marker of St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Credit St. Nicholas.

St Nicholas Church

2508 Clay St, Houston, TX 77003

(713) 223-5210

Established in 1887 as Houston’s first Black Catholic parish, St. Nicholas is still a thriving part of the Third Ward community. Saint Nicholas was founded in the belief that communities must learn to help themselves. The church’s work is founded on the following five pillars of faith:

  • A duty to reach out to the less fortunate
  • An obligation to lead by example
  • An all-inclusive approach: We help everyone regardless of their religious beliefs
  • Acceptance of the fact that we, too, may someday require assistance in our time of need
  • The path to salvation lies in volunteering

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I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...