St. Charles Lwanga Center

 Mission Statement:

The mission of the St. Charles Lwanga Center is to promote Catholic teaching, Catholic spiritual formation and leadership development, including advocacy for justice and racial equity concerns within the Black Catholic Community and for all who collaborate with them, in accord with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

2017 National Black Catholic Congress XII Pastoral Plan of Action developed by delegates who were appointed by bishops from the dioceses of the United States. Click Here



(314) 367-7929


The Center is named after Charles (Karoli / Carl) Lwanga, a leader among a group of 22 young men who were martyred between 1885 and 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized St. Charles Lwanga and Companions in 1964.

There was a desire for a house or center of spirituality within the African-American Community and between 1976-1979 the parishioners and staff of the former Most Blessed Sacrament Parish ventured to explore the possibility of using the former convent as a house of spiritual formation and leadership development. The pastor was instrumental in bringing clergy/religious and laity together for formal establishment in 1978. It was important that as many parishes as possible were represented, which led the parishes to agree to sponsor the efforts of the Center.

Currently, there are 10 sponsoring parishes and one non-parish organization. In consultation with Archbishop Robert Carlson, the Board of Directors ratified a revised Constitution and Bylaws in April, 2017, affirming the expanded scope of the Center. As such, the St. Charles Lwanga Center, while retaining its proper name and symbol is also known as the Archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries. The Board of Directors continues the vision of the reconstituted St. Charles Lwanga Center. The Board consists of representatives from the sponsoring parishes and organization, along with at-large members. 



Youth and Young Adult Ministry



Among our holdings are books, magazines, back copies of the St. Louis Review, historical, cultural, catechetical and theological references. Looking for something? Contact Margaret Washington at 314.367.7929, ext. 11.


National Black Catholic Congress

St. Louis Review


Meet the people who keep the Center running.

Sponsoring Parishes and Organization  


As the St. Charles Lwanga Center approaches its 40th year, we recall Sister Mary Antona Ebo, of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary who transitioned to be with the Lord on November 11, 2017. Sister Ebo was feted at our 16th Annual Testimonial Dinner in March, 1999. Among the noted memorabilia on display in the Lwanga Center is a plaque citing the honor. Her photographic images have been captured through the years as the world came to recognize her as one of the Sisters of Selma in 1965. The Lwanga Center is a custodian of some of those historic moments. Among them is an iconic photograph of her receiving the Eucharist from then Pope John Paul II during the Papal Visit to St. Louis in 1999.

Widely known as a warrior for justice and peace, those of us who encountered her up close cherished her wisdom, humor and love. Her words spoken into the microphones in Selma, “I am here because I am a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness,” resonate through the generations. They are inspiring words from a black Catholic who claimed her charge to bear witness to who God created us to be.

Our walls, halls and atmosphere are vibrant with Sr. Ebo’s spirit along with the multitude of others who have gone on before us. That legacy will continue to thrive through our work affecting St. Louis and beyond.

Sister Ebo with Father George Clements of Chicago at the St. Charles Lwanga Center


 We invite you to view an inspirational, contemporary profile entitled, 

 “Remembering a Saint: Karoli Lwanga, Most Influential Martyr”


“Gracious God, You have made the blood of the martyrs to be the seed of Christians.  May the witness by Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions of their loyalty to Christ in the face of torture, inspire women and men all over the world to live the Christian faith. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, pray for us.”


Latest News


On Thursday, April 14, our executive director, Fr. Arthur Cavitt was the guest chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives. He led the assembly in prayer before their opening session. Viewing of the prayer and subsequent tribute can be seen within the first five minutes on the link below:

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