Walk in the footsteps of Father Tolton

By Catholic New World
Sunday, September 21, 2014

Servant of God Augustus Tolton is the first American diocesan priest of African descent. (File photo)

A pilgrimage with Bishop Joseph Perry to sites in Illinois and Missouri where Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God, lived and worked, will take place Sept. 26-27.

Pilgrims will take a step back in time to 1889 and visit the site of Tolton’s boyhood hometown. Several other stops on the pilgrimage will trace the historical path on which he journeyed from slave to priest.

Departing from Catholic Theological Union, 5416 S. Cornell Ave., at 8:30 a.m., the trip includes an overnight stay at Quincy Inn & Suites.

Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch and luxury coach transportation and can be made at, or by calling (312) 534-8376. Cost is $99 per person and does not include lodging. The special room rate is $67.26, including tax. For lodging information, contact Quincy Inn & Suites at (217) 228-8808.

This pilgrimage is sponsored by Bishop Perry’s office, the Office for Black Catholics and the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union.

Tolton was the first American diocesan priest of African descent. Born the son of slaves in Missouri, he studied for the priesthood in Rome, as no American seminary would accept him because of his race. Ordained for the Diocese of Quincy in southern Illinois, he later came to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. He was only 43 years of age at the time of his death.

Cardinal George announced Tolton’s cause for canonization in March 2010, and Tolton was granted the title “Servant of God” by the Sacred Congregation for Causes of Saints at the Vatican in February 2012.

For information, visit


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