Father Tolton gets sign and dinner in his honor

By Catholic New World
Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bishop Joseph Perry, left, joins hands in prayer with his fellow bishops and priests during the Gala Benefit Fundraiser for the Cause for Sainthood of Father Augustus Tolton at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago on Nov.11. More than 325 people attended the innaugural event. (Brian J. Morowczynski / Catholic New World)

Father Augustus Tolton was on the minds of many in November as the City of Chicago dedicated a street sign in his honor on Nov. 4 and the archdiocese held its first gala to raise funds for Tolton’s cause for canonization on Nov. 11.

Tolton is the first identified black priest in the United States. Born the son of slaves in Missouri, he studied for the priesthood in Rome because no American seminary would accept him. Sent to the Diocese of Quincy in southern Illinois, he later came to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. He was only 43 years old at the time of his death in 1897.

Cardinal George formerly opened his cause for canonization in February of this year.

For more information about the cause visit To report any spiritual or physical favors granted through prayer in Father Tolton’s name, please write: Office of the Cardinal, Archdiocese of Chicago, 835 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611.