Journeying with Father Tolton in Chicago

By Karen Callaway | Photo Editor
Sunday, April 22, 2012

Journeying with Father Tolton in Chicago

Pilgrimage participants leave the site of a foot bridge at the end of 35th Street in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood. The bridge crosses train tracks and is the approximate location of a former train stop where Tolton disembarked the day he died. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
Sabrina Penn, Tolton's grandniece, lays flowers at the grave of Martha Tolton at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Martha was Tolton's mother. She died Nov. 10, 1911. Tolton's sister Anne Pettis is also buried there. (Karen Callway / Catholic New World)
Participants walk along the pilgrimage. A bus transported participants to most sites. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
Participants pray at a stop at 36th Street and Dearborn Avenue, which was the storefront site of St. Monica Church. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
T. Marion Johnson and Deacon Michael McCloskey pray during a pilgrimage stop. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)

On April 14, 48 people made a pilgrimage to sites in Chicago where Father Augustus Tolton, servant of God, lived and worked. They took a step back to 1889 and visited the site of his first apartment in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. They visited the storefront site of St. Monica Church, the first black Catholic parish in the archdiocese. These are just a few of the sites visited during the pilgrimage sponsored by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry’s office, the Office for Black Catholics and the Father Augustus Tolton Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union.

Pilgrimage sites

35th Street and Lake Park Avenue: Cardinal Meyer Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Site where Father Tolton disembarked from the train and walked home.

36th Street and Ellis: Location where Tolton collapsed and from where he was rushed to Mercy Hospital by police.

448 E. 36th St.: Address of rectory where Tolton lived.

Ninth Street and Wabash Avenue: Historical site of Old St. Mary’s Church, site of St. Augustine Society where black Catholics worshipped and where Tolton first ministered in Chicago.

2251 S. Indiana Ave.: Tolton’s one-room apartment during his first few months in Chicago.

3554 S. Dearborn: Storefront site of St. Monica Church, first Black Catholic parish

36th Street and Dearborn: Permanent site of St. Monica Church. Church was later torn down.

2755 W. 111th St.: Mount Olivet Cemetery. Grave sites of Martha Anne Tolton, his mother, and Anne Pettis, his sister.

2525 S. Michigan Ave.: Historical site of Mercy Hospital, where Tolton died