Father Augustus Tolton was a native of Quincy,Illinois. (My Hometown) He was also a son of my home parish (St. Peter’s). Thus I feel a bit of a connection to him. He was the first Black priest in America, and a very holy one at that, he worked endlessly for his parishioners, and he asked for nothing in return.
I remember as a child, I would sit next to my Grandparents bookcase to the side of the TV, while they would be watching Law & Order, and I would pull out the history books of Quincy, that my Grandma had collected. I always loved to learn about the history of our town, as it was very rich and full of neat facts. When I discovered a few articles about Fr. Augustus Tolton, I instantly fell in love with his story and was attracted to the way he lived his life. So one summer when I was visiting my grandparents I got my Mom and Grandma to take me to visit his grave in the local St.Peter’s Cemetery. After praying there for his soul, and those others in the Cemetery I started off on a history search about him. It has been neat to find in little country parishes the different stories that were in their parish history books of that little black priest in Quincy.
Today marks the 115th anniversary of his death, pray for him and his cause for canonization, pray for the Diocese’s of Springfield & Chicago, pray that God will send more laborers into his vineyard that have the wonderful qualities that were displayed through Fr. Tolton’s life. Pray for Priests!!!