Who WE Are – Brenda Burns


Brenda Burns retired from the Colonial School District (CSD) in 2016 with 21 years of service as a Sixth Grade Counselor, but she never stopped working or learning. Burns has spent her lifetime dedicated to the Catholic Church in many capacities including 30 years as a member of St. Joseph’s Parish (French Street) in Wilmington where she served in Music Ministry and Religious education. At age 77, Burns is now taking on another prominent role, this time as the director of the Ministry for Black Catholics for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

“I’m very happy with my new assignment. In this current environment, we are hoping for the church to be more welcoming and bring greater awareness of the role and contributions of African Americans who have been involved in the Catholic Church since the beginning of Christianity,” Burns says.

In her new role, Burns hopes to continue to combat what she calls a national effort to end racism in the Catholic Church and to have the differences in culture and music embraced just as it is with Hispanic parishioners. While she has been actively working with the Ministry for Black Catholics since the 90’s she says, “It’s time for people to face the facts that racism is still alive and thriving.”

Today Burns applauds the CSD for its work on equity and the Nutrition Services Division for developing its Summer Feeding Program because food insecurity occurs year-round. She is hopeful the work she is doing in the Catholic Church around equity, the work CSD is doing, and the movement occurring nationally after recent incidents that sparked racial injustice will make a difference saying, “The time has come. There are so many burnt bridges, so many hurt people, so much division. It’s time for us to become a united nation and that means for us to be inclusive, it’s well past time. The momentum is here now. We just have to do the work towards achieving that goal!”

Brenda is #WhoWEAre.