Father Augustus Tolton was born into slavery and, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, rose to become the first black priest in the United States. His cause for canonization has been opened but many are just learning about this heroic priest who served his Church and community despite racism, bigotry, and opposition from fellow Catholics.
To introduce us to Fr. Tolton and his holy example, Michael is joined by popular author and speaker Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers. In his latest book, Father Augustus Tolton, Deacon Harold focuses on what today’s Catholic’s can from Fr. Tolton’s holy life and struggle. Among the lessons Deacon Harold shares with us today:
- How Fr. Augustus Tolton persevered to live out his vocation, even when he had to leave the country to attend seminary.
- How a few devout priests and nuns stood against the racism of their time to support Fr. Tolton.
- How Tolton saw past the sinners in the Church to see the love of Christ in everything.
- How Fr. Tolton’s cause for canonization continues to advance.
Resources discussed in this episode:
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is the author of Father Augustus Tolton: The Slave Who Became the First African-American Priest, which is available from Sophia Institute Press and your favorite Catholic bookstore.
If you would like to learn more about Fr. Tolton, check out:
- A short biography by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.
- “Fr. Augustine Tolton: America’s First Black Priest” by K.V. Turley.
- From Slave to Priest: The Inspirational Story of Father Augustine Tolton (1854-1897) by Sr. Caroline Hemesath
More information about Fr. Tolton and the cause for his canonization is at tolton.archchicago.org where you can also find the special prayer for the canonization of Fr. Augustus Tolton.