Spend an hour with this holy man who endured the inhumanity of slavery and racism to become the first ordained black priest in America.
Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, said in 1886 on the occasion of the ordination of Augustus Tolton: “America has been called the most enlightened nation. We will see if it deserves the honor. If America has never seen a Negro priest, it will see one now.”
But it was Father Tolton’s humility, innate compassion and attention he offered to those in need—as well as his devotion and willingness to be of service at his parish—that drew both blacks and whites to him.
An Hour With Augustus Tolton includes a forward by Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago and diocesan postulator of the cause for canonization of Augustus Tolton.
“Father Tolton shows us in his own life’s pattern that we can find blessing in everything, even what is most painful. Through his experiences of racial negation by a society that would separate black and white, Tolton found the love of God, found his own vocation and ultimately has received his reward from God as a pioneer figure of Christian faith in action, love of neighbor and pastoral charity despite the bigotry that was thrown at him,” writes Bishop Perry. “It is his suffering service that speaks most eloquently to us all.”