The report was presented by Maria Jerkins, director of the archdiocese's Office of Black Catholic Affairs, and Prince Smith, a member of Visitation Parish in North Miami who chaired the census implementation team.
"We have always asked how many black Catholics are there and we could never give a number, only an estimate," said Jerkins
"We went to every parish," Jerkins
said, except for five whose pastors did not give permission for the census-takers to be there during weekend Masses.
According to the census report, all of those pastors responded that "there were no black Catholics in their parish," even though, in at least one case, two of the census team members have family who are registered in that particular parish and have been attending Mass there for more than three years.
"I was surprised at the number of pastors who would not cooperate with us," Jerkins
"We found several who did not want us to come. (The census) was not as important to them as it was to us."
Nevertheless, Jerkins added, "We as black Catholics know that we're not alone because we got the support of our fellow Catholics."
noted that the census team was composed of 43 African-American Catholics and 21 white or Hispanic Catholics.