July 30, 2019

New Orleans LA– Xavier University of Louisiana has appointed Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, D.Min., as the director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), the first and primary national center for the study of the Black Catholic experience. Dr. Bellow, who earned her Master's in Theology (Th.M.) degree from Xavier, has been affiliated with the IBCS for more than 30 years. She earned an MBA from McNeese State University in 1987 and a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in 2005 from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Sister Eva Marie Lumas, SSS, D.Min., who currently serves as co-Interim director of the IBCS, along with Dr. Kirk Gaddy, Ed.D. and Fr. Manuel Williams, CR, ThM, has been involved with the institution for 40 years. She was one of the first graduates of the IBCS program in 1984 and describes her experience as a genuine labor of love. “The last two years have come with many challenges, but if I had to do it all over again, I would, because the IBCS is in my blood,” said Sister Lumas. “The IBCS has become one of my primary communities and I am confident that the present and future leaders of the institution will do the work that is needed to continue the expansion and elevation of the program.”

Having served the Institute in several capacities over the years - as a student volunteer, staff assistant, instructor and Associate Director of C&E Programs, Dr. Bellow is prepared to assume the position of IBCS Director. The IBCS, a school of ministry that meets in the summer, currently offers the ThM degree as well as Continuing Education and Enrichment programs (C&E). Its mission is to form Black Catholics and others for ministry with the Black community. “The Institute formation is wholistic - theological, spiritual, physical, social and cultural,” said Dr. Kathleen Dorsey Bellow. “I stand on the shoulders of devoted women and men who have served as directors and look forward to building up the IBCS community to respond to the 21st century ministry needs of the people of God.”

A native of Baltimore, Dr. Bellow was raised by her family and church family of St. Cecilia with a strong commitment to Church and community. She writes, consults and presents on several aspects of Catholic ministry, including worship, evangelization, and faith formation. She served as principal of Sacred Heart/Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic School in Lake Charles, Louisiana from 2005 to 2011. She is a long-time member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, the past convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America. 

Dr. Bellow has also worked as a counselor for the McNeese Small Business Development Center and operated a consulting firm specializing in small business planning. She recently completed two terms on the Lake Charles North Redevelopment Authority Board and continues her membership with the authority's Small Business Summit.

Dr. Bellow will begin her role as Director of the IBCS at Xavier in August 2019.