Dr. Guessippina Bonner, current representative for Ward 1 on the Lufkin City Council. Although she grew up in central Texas, Dr. Bonner has deep roots in East Texas. She spent her summers and holidays in Concord, Texas with her grandparents and other relatives.
Dr. Bonner received her B.S. degree from Dillard University, New Orleans, LA in Biology; a M.S. degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark University, Portland, Or; PhD in Education Leadership and Cultural Studies from the University of Houston, Houston, TX and a J.D. degree from University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, MA. Dr. Bonner has been a teacher, counselor, union leader and a lobbyist for the causes of the poor. She has retired here to Lufkin initially to care for family members but eventually to serve the community. Serving in a leadership role for community organizations, her passion is to provide services for the children in the community.
Secretariat Director • Life, Charity and Justice
(Social Concerns, Black Ministry, and Catholic Campaign for Human Development)
Diocese of Austin
(Fredron) DeKarlos Blackmon has served as the Secretariat Director of Life, Charity, and Justice since 2015. He came to the position after not only having served in parochial and education ministry in the Diocese of Birmingham, but also having served as the Sixteenth Supreme Knight, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of the Knights of Peter Claver and President of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights.
He serves as the Diocesan Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Director of Social Concerns, and the Coordinator of Black Ministry. In addition to his diocesan responsibilities, he serves on many boards. He has served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Cultural Diversity for African American Affairs. Over the years, he has been actively involved in pastoral ministry, outreach, developing youth, and promoting civic improvement. DeKarlos holds paramount the responsibility to bring faith into the public square—standing arduously for the hard right as opposed to the easy wrong. DeKarlos presents workshops on catechesis, liturgy, pastoral ministry, Catholic education, and leadership throughout the country. He has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.
Financial Consultant for the USCCB Region X - Unity Explosion 2020 Conference
Diocese of Austin
Johnnie Dorsey is currently the Financial Consultant for the USCCB Region X Unity Explosion 2020. He is the immediate past Director of the Office of Black Catholics for the Diocese of Austin, former Vice-President of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and former member of the Board of Trustees for the National Black Catholic Congress.
He is a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Austin, Texas where he serves as Co-Chair of the Holy Cross Men’s Ministry, Lector, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He is Co-Facilitator of the Holy Cross Courageous Conversations on Racism Committee.
He is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Council 284 and former Grand Knight of the Council. He is currently the Faithful Scribe for Assembly #40 of the 4th Degree Knights of Peter Claver of which he is the immediate past Faithful Navigator. He serves as a Co-Chair for the KPC Meals on Wheels Committee and the KPC Food Drive Committee. He is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Texas State Conference KPC 100 Club Committee.
He is a Veteran of the US Air Force and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He retired from the IBM Corporation and from the City of Austin Health and Human Services Department where he held the position of Financial Manager with both employers.
He is the husband of Dean Dorsey and the father of Johnnie Dorsey, Jr. (Deceased) and Shannon Johnson. Johnnie and Dean are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Fr. L. Warren Harvey
Bishop's Liaison: Diocesan for Black Catholics
Diocese of Little Rock
Rev. L. Warren Harvey is the pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Little Rock. After graduating from St. Joseph he attended Notre Dame Seminary in Louisiana, and was ordained a priest May 28, 1988. His assignments have included St. Augustine Church, St. Mary Church and St. Patrick Church, all in North Little Rock; and St. Joseph Church in Pine Bluff. After more than 25 years, Father Harvey is still eager to see where the road leads. He long ago stopped trying to second-guess or bend it to his will. It’s God at work daily, he said; nothing else makes any sense. Father Harvey believes that“The Mass is the greatest miracle of all and sometimes when I’m up there, I still can’t believe I’m the one celebrating it. I’m excited every day that God uses me to serve others. That’s when I am most like Jesus Christ.” Presentation: “My Struggle with Catholicism”--
Director • Office Of African American Ministry
Diocese of Beaumont
In December 2005, Linda Duhon-LaCour was hired as Executive Director for the Office of African American Ministry for the Diocese of Beaumont. During her tenure as Executive Director, Mrs. LaCour has sought to collaborate with pastors and parish leaders on areas of need for the individual, consortium of black parishes and the diocese as a whole. Currently, the African American Ministry is seeking to follow the mandate of Bishop Curtis Guillory, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to develop an evangelization model that will be spiritually inviting yet vigorously challenging to “throw out into the deep” and, thereby, recapture our fallen away brothers and sisters and gather the unchurched to the Body of Christ.
Diocese of Beaumont
Joyce Thomas Lombard is a member of Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Beaumont, Texas, and very active in several ministries in the parish. She is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court 64 and Fourth Degree Ladies of Grace Chapter 8.
She has coordinated an array of youth ministry workshops and liturgy programs at conferences and national conventions for many years. After 30 years of coordinating liturgy and parish events for 13 youth ministries and two youth organizations, she retired as Youth Director from her parish.
Joyce attended the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, for three summers and obtained her Youth Ministry Certification in 1999. She was on staff for three summers with the Community Life Team at the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University.
She has served as Youth Track Coordinator for The National Black Catholic Congress and continues to collaborate with The National Black Catholic Congress. She was a presenter on the Catholic Youth Ministry Webinar for Adult Youth Ministers. Joyce wrote an article, “Rejuvenate the Spirit” for The National Black Catholic Congress, January/February 2007 issue. Working in conjunction with The National Black Catholic Congress, Joyce contributed to getting the first African American Youth Bible published by St. Mary’s Press in 2013.
Joyce volunteers as Youth Liaison on special projects through the Office of African America Ministry in the Diocese of Beaumont.
Dr. John E. Quary
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Victoria
Currently, Dr. Quary serves as the Superintendent of Schools and has directed the Office of Catholic Schools for the past 12 years in the Diocese of Victoria in Texas. He has responsibility for the overall administration and supervision of the approximately 3,000 students, enrolled in 15 Catholic schools, situated on 13 campuses, in the Diocese of Victoria, which spans approximately 10,000 square miles and includes 10 counties in South Texas.
Additionally, Dr. Quary has been a Commissioner on the Texas Catholic Conference Accreditation Commission for nine years.
Though Dr. Quary is a Louisiana native, he spent the majority of his 35+ year educational career in Los Angeles, California, where he held positions in teaching elementary, secondary, and adult students, as well as administration at the principal level for 14 years in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
John is also a founding member of the Iota Tau Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., on the campus of LSU, though he “crossed the burning sands” into Rho Chapter of Southern University.
John is a choir member and cantor of Holy Family Catholic Church, Victoria, too. His son, Charlie, is a junior at the University of Houston-Victoria.
Dr. Quary earned a bachelor’s degree from LSU, a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Cal State LA, education credentials from UHV, including mid-management and superintendent certificates, and in 2016, a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lamar University, where he was named “An Outstanding Doctoral Student.”
Currently, Dr. Quary serves as the bishop’s delegate to both the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and the Region X Conference for the Black Apostolate.
Fr. Reginald Samuel
Vicar for Catholics of African Descent
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Father Reginald Wayne Samuels was born the youngest of six children to Weaver and Edith Samuels in the rural town of Washington, Ga. His family owned a logging company. His father served as a Deacon in the Baptist Church.
Life growing up in the Samuels family centered on church; Sunday worship and Wednesday evening bible study. In his small town everyone knew each other; the pace of living was peaceful, and he grew up in a large and close-knit family.
He graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Georgia in Athens. He moved to Atlanta and worked for Federated (Macy’s) Department Stores as a sales manager and buyer.
In 1997, he moved to Houston to work for a major Corporation here in Houston. He lived on the west side of Houston and began a Sunday ritual to find a church home. One of the churches he visited was St. Cyril of Alexandria. It was there that he discovered a love for Catholic liturgy and music and began attending St. Cyril’s exclusively.
He was confirmed in the Catholic faith on Easter of 1999, and soon thereafter joined the choir, became a cantor, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector, and a member of the singles group. As time passed, he began to recognize that the more involved he got in the Church, the less satisfied he was with his career.
He contacted the Vocations Office at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and sought the counsel of his priest and mentor at St. Cyril’s, Fr. Mario Arroyo. After a yearlong process of investigation and prayerful discernment, he charted a new course for his life.
In August of 2003, at the age of 36, he entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston in a new program designed specifically for older seminarians who had already earned their undergraduate degree. The six-year program involved hundreds of hours of theology and philosophy, clinical pastoral education, and Spanish immersion. On May 30, 2009, surrounded by his family and friends, he was ordained to the priesthood by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo at the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral.
Early assignments included Parochial Vicar St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land and Christ the Redeemer Church in Houston. He currently serves as the Cardinal's Vicor for Catholics of African Descent.
On March 1, 2012, Father Reginald joined his new church family at St. Hyacinth and in 2019 was appointed as the Vicar for Catholics of African Descent in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston,
Archdiocesan Liaison for the Black Catholic Apostolate
Archdiocese of San Antonio
Carol was born and raised in Cambridge MA. She became a military wife in 1954 and travelled with her family to Germany, Colorado, Ohio, and finally to San Antonio 3 times. She is the mother of 9 children, 43 great grands, 18 great-great grands and 3 great-great-great grand. Carol Graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Social Work She taught Social Research and Social Work Classes at OLLUSA for 5 years. She attended Diaconate classes with her husband Deacon Tom who was ordained in 1982 after retiring from the USAF and they served at Holy Redeemer as a Deacon Couple for 23 years before his death in 2004. Carol has served the Archdiocese in many capacities first as the Director of St. P.J’s for 12 years, as Deacon Couple for 23 years , campus minister for 4 years and Director of Campus Ministry for twelve years for the Archdiocese until her retirement 5 years ago. She has served on many National, Regional, Archdiocesan and local Committees. She is presently the Archdiocesan Liaison for the Black Catholic Apostolate and does full time volunteer work at her parish as Librarian, Resource Coordinator, Chair of the Liturgy Committee, Member of the Pastoral Council, Grant Writer and anything else her pastor needs. She is a Level 3 Catechist and has been teaching Level 1 & 2 Classes for the Catechetical Center for many years. She has been team leader for R.C.I.A. for the past several years.
Recipient of the Service of Light Award from the National Black Catholic Congress honoring those who gave above and beyond service to the African American Catholic Community
Recipient of the Christifidelis Award in honor of Archbishop Flores – the Highest award given by the Archdiocese of San Antonio for outstanding service.
Archdiocesan Liaison for the Apostolate for Catholics of African Descent
Chairperson for the USCCB Region X - Unity Explosion 2020 Conference
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Evelyn Wagner Wright serves as chairperson of the Unity Explosion-Region
X Evangelization and Liturgy Conference. She is a member of the
Commission of Catholics of African Descent in the Archdiocese of
Galveston-Houston and has been a parishioner at Saint Francis of Assisi
Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, since 1982. Evelyn has served as
president of the Parish Pastoral Council and president of the St. Francis of
Assisi Instrument of Peace Choir. She has also served as a lector,
extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and a catechist. She remains
active in parish ministry serving as co-chairperson of the History Committee
for the parish’s 70th Anniversary and continues to volunteer her time and
talent in many capacities within the archdiocese.
Evelyn is the immediate past president of the Sisters in the Spirit of
Houston, Inc., a lay service organization. In 2012, she was nominated by His
Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and
received the national “Servant of Christ” award for 25 years of
extraordinary service. Evelyn is a member of the Commission of Catholics
of African Descent in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Evelyn is a native Texan and earned a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View
A&M University (Texas); a master’s degree from Pepperdine University
(California); completed numerous postgraduate study hours from other
universities including Columbia University (New York); University of
Southern California, University of LaVerne and University of San Diego
(California); and Texas Southern University and the University of St
Thomas (Texas). She graduated from the National Staff Development
Council’s Academy in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and completed her Principal
Certification at the University of St. Thomas. in addition to membership in
many professional organizations, she is a member of Meeting Professionals
International and serves as a certified meeting planner.
Evelyn is a loving mother and grandmother, an educator, world traveler, lifelong
student, and spiritual woman of faith.
UNITY EXPLOSION 2020
“He who sows good seed is the son of Man, the field is the world,
the good seed the children of the kingdom.” — Matthew 13:37-38a