Father Augustus Tolton, former slave from Missouri who escaped to Rome to become the first American priest of African descent who identified as black and whose life and work exemplify the true nature of work and wealth.
As Pope John Paul II in 1987 told black Catholics in New Orleans, “eloquent witness to the power of the Holy Spirit accomplishing the work of spiritual freedom . . . [by] proclaiming God’s Kingdom to a world shackled by consumerism, mindless pleasure-seeking, and irresponsible individualism—shackles of the spirit which are even more destructive than the chains of physical slavery.”
Father Tolton’s cause for canonization is currently underway. Father Tolton, pray for us:
O God, We give you thanks for your servant and priest, Father Augustus Tolton,
who labored among us in times of contradiction,
times that were both beautiful and paradoxical.
His ministry helped lay the foundation for a truly Catholic gathering in faith in our time.
We stand in the shadow of his ministry.
May his life continue to inspire us and imbue us with that confidence and hope
that will forge a new evangelization for the Church we love.
Father in Heaven, Father Tolton’s suffering service sheds light upon our sorrows;
we see them through the prism of your Son’s passion and death.
If it be your Will, O God,* glorify your servant, Father Tolton,
by granting the favor I now request through his intercession
Grant Us the Wisdom to Understand the Truth Nature of Work & the Responsibilities of Wealth
so that all may know the goodness of this priest
whose memory looms large in the Church he loved.
Complete what you have begun in us
that we might work for the fulfillment of your kingdom.
Not to us the glory,
but glory to you O God, through Jesus Christ, your Son
and our Lord;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are our God, living and reigning forever and ever.
2010 Bishop Joseph N. Perry (About Father Tolton)
Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archdiocese of Chicago