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Rev Augustus Tolton
Birth: Apr. 1, 1854
Ralls County
Missouri, USA
Death: Jul. 9, 1897
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA

First universally recognized black priest in the United States. Born a slave, John Augustus Tolton was raised in Quincy, Illinois after he and his mother and siblings escaped from slavery in Missouri. He began studying for the priesthood in 1873, and though initially refused admission at local seminaries, was eventually able to attend Quincy College and complete his studies in Rome, Italy. Father Augustus Tolton was ordained on April 24, 1886, as the first known and recognized Black priest in the United States of America. Returning to the United States, he ministered for two years as pastor of the racially mixed St. Joseph's Church in Quincy, IL. He was most attentive to the spiritual and human needs of his people. Soon his Masses and instruction classes gained prominence, and he was asked to attend and speak at many public gatherings. He quickly gained a reputation as a fine preacher, so much so that many of the German and Irish Catholics began to attend Mass with the Black Catholics. Tolton's increasing popularity unleashed both hidden racism and the jealousy of both Catholic and non-Catholic ministers in the area. Upon being forced to leave his home in Quincy because of racial hostility,Tolton settled in Chicago and founded St. Monica's Church (later St. Elizabeth's), the first Black Catholic Church in Chicago. St. Monica's became Chicago's center of Black Catholic life for more than 30 years. Tolton continued to be well known there and nationally, speaking at numerous gatherings and lectures, including the First Catholic Colored Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1889. As he stepped from the train at 35th Street Lake Park returning from the annual retreat of Chicago priests in Bourbonnais, Illinois on an excessively hot day in July of 1897 Tolton was stricken by a heat-related stroke and rushed to Mercy hospital. He died that night at the age of 43. After Tolton's death, St. Monica's was made a mission of St. Elizabeth's Church. It was permanently closed as a national parish in 1924, as black Catholics chose to attend parish churches in their own neighborhoods. Tolton was honored in 2010 with a new Catholic high school (Father Augustine Tolton Regional Catholic High School) named after him in Columbia, Missouri. (bio by: Curtis Jackson) 
 
Burial:
Saint Peters Cemetery
Quincy
Adams County
Illinois, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Apr 22, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7374321
Rev Augustus Tolton
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Rev Augustus Tolton
Added by: Bill Schulte
 
Rev Augustus Tolton
Added by: Bill Schulte
 
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Father Tolton, pray for us!
-
 Added: Aug. 20, 2013

- 2kjmom
 Added: Jul. 9, 2013

- Cindy
 Added: Jul. 9, 2013
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