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Juneteenth Reflection

Juneteenth Reflection

By: Sr. Melinda Pellerin, SSJ

A photo of the Juneteenth flag which is blue on top, red on the bottom and a white star within a star
The Juneteenth flag was first created in 1997 by Ben Haith. Learn more about the symbolism of this flag here.

Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and emancipation; a time to reflect on the contributions of African Americans to this country and beyond. This Juneteenth 2021 calendar highlights the accomplishments, gifts and spirituality of a people who made significant contributions to the Catholic Church. The African diaspora who came here as explorers, indentured servants, or slaves and brought with them the gift of dance, song and a unique Spirituality to the church. Each date included in this Juneteenth Calendar highlights a person(s), event, or symbol in the history of the Catholic church in Africa and the United States.

While Juneteenth celebrates the freedom gained through emancipation, African Americans did not fully find freedom through emancipation and struggled to find their place as equal members in the Catholic Church and as citizens of the United States. We demand our freedom and fight for it in protest, in our struggle for justice, in our unique Spirituality.

Juneteenth is a celebration, a reminder that emancipation and freedom were not forged easily in America or in the church, but we still raise. We are here and the contributions of our people bring special gifts to the universal church.

Juneteenth Resources:

[Sr. Melinda Pellerin is a Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield]