The Office for African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization (AAMEN) held its 17th annual retreat at the Avila Retreat Center the weekend of June 18-19, 2011.
The purpose of the annual retreat is to keep parish leaders of African descent informed about relevant events occurring in the Diocese and in the local parishes and for the leaders to discuss the needs of those to whom they minister. The recent Retreat, facilitated by Father Marcos Leon-Angulo, Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Whiteville and Dean of the Cape Fear Deanery, was themed “Honoring the Past by Building the Future.”
Along with time for prayer, meditation and Mass, the retreat included networking and story sharing among the leaders in attendance. Retreatants heard several presentations on subjects like African American Spirituality, the Person of Jesus and The Challenge of Evangelization.
For Ms. Wilena McPhatter, one of the organizers of the retreat, the high point of the weekend was Father Marcos’ presentation of the ministry’s new Pastoral Plan. “The Plan will enable those who don't know what AAMEN is all about to understand why it exists and why we need AAMEN chapters in all our individual Parishes,” Ms. McPhatter said. “We had quite a few people who had never been to one of our retreats, and they came away very enlightened. All in all, I think the weekend was a great success and will be a great boost to our Ministry.”
AAMEN was established by the Diocese of Raleigh to foster the mission of the Roman Catholic Church, spread the Gospel, celebrate the Sacraments, and form a faith community. The ministry seeks to create an atmosphere in which individuals of African descent can maintain their identity, heighten their visibility, and enhance their lives as Catholics. It is concerned with nurturing those in the faith, reconciling those fallen away from the faith, and offering a church home to the unchurched through conversion to the Catholic faith.
For more information on AAMEN and its activities and events, contact Mrs. Lauren Green at 919-821-9762 or Lauren.Green@raldioc.org.
Above: Attendees at the AAMEN Leadership Retreat listening to one of several presentations.