by Murray White
AN INCREASING number of black people have become actively involved in the running of parishes, a national gathering of black Catholics will hear this weekend, A call is to go out to Catholic schools to follow the example of parishes and diocesan organisations and put racial issues high on their agendas.
The availability of in-service training for teachers on racial equality issues and measures to find more governors and teachers from the black community are among recommendations put forth by black Catholic groups.
Up to 200 black Catholic leaders will be told at the congress in Birmingham tomorrow not to become complacent after a higher profile for racial issues over the past two years.
A report published for the congress will say there are still some dioceses doing little to address the needs of minority ethnic communities.
Betty Luckham, a co-ordinator for the congress at St Philip's sixth form college, welcomed the rise in black Catholics eucharistic ministers and members of parish councils.
Ms Luckham, a leading member of CARJ, the Catholic Association for Racial Justice. is author of the report charting progress since the first national congress for black Catholics two years ago.
The report welcomes the swathe of local racial justice groups being formed across the country, along with a rise in lay training opportunities for black Catholics.
"The situation is not perfect. Some dioceses show a lack of understanding, thinking that because they are in a white area, the problem in not theirs." said Ms Luckham.