Servant of God, Father Augustus Tolton “115th anniversary of death”

Father Augustus Tolton
Fr. Augustus “Gus” Tolton

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!!!




New Vatican guidelines for promoting Vocations to the Priesthood.

Check out these new guidelines/pointers from the Vatican on how to increase Vocations to the Priesthood. Pay special attention to the last paragraph.

Among its many other recommendations, the guidelines note that numerous priests were “part of the group of altar boys and have served at the altar” before going to seminary. It therefore suggests that “vocation ministry for priesthood gives special attention to altar boys” when promoting the priesthood.” -(Last paragraph of cited link)

Now most of the points and guidelines are new, but this one is one that has been practiced and known for centuries. Suggesting that those promoting vocations pay special attention to altar boys is not something new, and it is something that has been proven to pay off time and time again. So the next time you see that guy serving mass, why not give him some words of encouragement, and say “Hey, have you ever thought about the Priesthood?” It may just be the thing that confirms what he has been thinking for awhile and give him the courage to start asking questions of what God wants of him in life. It may just be the thing, that makes a difference in his life, and inspires another vocation. Think about it!

For the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor of the church)

English translation of
Pange Lingua

Of the glorious Body telling,
O my tongue, its mysteries sing,
And the Blood, all price excelling,
Which the world’s eternal King,
In a noble womb once dwelling
Shed for the world’s ransoming.

Given for us, descending,
Of a Virgin to proceed,
Man with man in converse blending,
Scattered he the Gospel seed,
Till his sojourn drew to ending,
Which he closed in wondrous deed.

At the last great Supper lying
Circled by his brethren’s band,
Meekly with the law complying,
First he finished its command
Then, immortal Food supplying,
Gave himself with his own hand.

Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ’s Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.

Therefore we, before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere;
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son;
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing,
Who, from both, with both is one.

R. Thou hast given them bread from heaven.
V. Having within it all sweetness.

Let us pray: O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament left us a memorial of Thy Passion: grant, we implore Thee, that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, as always to be conscious of the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever.
R. Amen.

This hymn is exceedingly sublime in its expression of faith in Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The latter part of this hymn is mandated by the Church for use at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The last two stanzas, known as the Tantum Ergo, is usually sung at the beginning of the last part of Benediction; after any period of silence and before the priest blesses the congregation with Our Lord Himself. Even today this hymn is widely known and used frequently. It is one of the most famous chants in existence.

It was written by St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor. He is known as the Common Doctor of the Church. His angelic purity and holiness brought him very close to God. He wrote the hymn Pange Lingua (of which the Tantum Ergo is the last two stanzas) for the feast of Corpus Christi. A fellow priest and close friend attempted this task at the same time. When St. Thomas finished, he shared it with the priest, who was awe-struck at its sublimity and expression. He was so moved by its beauty that he immediately tore up his own work, which he professed was like so much garbage compared to this heavenly-inspired text.

The hymn is as beautiful and poetic as it is precise in expressing Catholic doctrine. It is peerless for its quality, sublimity, and facility with the Latin language. Verse 4 especially does a play on words, deftly arranged by a Latin master. St. Thomas Aquinas was a true man – as pious and humble as he was intelligent, as chaste as he was courageous, as meek as he was wise. Witness the heights a man can achive by God’s grace and the cultivation of virtue – instead of descending toward the level of the lower animals (by sensuality, anger, unrestrained passions), he rather aims upward toward the level of the angels (by purity, humility, charity).

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Wondering, what ifs?

Have you ever wondered if what you are doing is the right thing? Have you ever wondered what God’s purpose for you was in life? Have you ever wondered if you were headed in the right direction? Have you ever wondered if your thoughts were just an influence of your emotions? Have you ever wondered if your emotions were an influence to your thoughts that were only in your head, because God put them there? Have you ever wondered if the reason you felt that a way was the result of a higher power? An answered prayer? What if you started doing the right thing? What if you started praying? What if your thoughts were changed into thoughts of higher things? What if your relationships changed because of your faith and your emotions, because of him? What if you gave it all to him who gave it all for you? What if you surrendered your body, thoughts, emotions, and everything into his hands trusting in his providence? What if you started turning your wonderings into actions, what if you started living for a purpose? What if everything you did became for him? Have you ever wondered, what if?