Did you know Augustus Tolton, was the first publicly known black Roman Catholic priest in the United States (1886)?
A former slave who was baptized and reared Catholic, Tolton studied formally in Rome, because he was rejected from the American seminary. Fr. Tolton was ordained and served his first Mass on Easter Sunday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Assigned to the Alton, Ill. diocese, Tolton first ministered to his home parish in Quincy. Later assigned to Chicago, Tolton led the development and construction of St. Monica’s Catholic Church as a black “national parish church”, completed in 1893 on Chicago’s south side.
Fr. Augustus, pray for us.