Fr. Augustine Tolton: America’s First Black Priest fought against racial prejudice both within and without the Catholic Church with the most powerful ‘weapon’ of all – love. In this review from Catholic Exchange, K. V. Turley LCWC looks at Caroline Hemesath SSF’s biography of Fr Tolton.
At night the river looked deeper than ever as the woman rowed across it with her three small children. That was dangerous enough but they were being pursued. They were being shot at. They were fleeing for their lives.
The Civil War had just begun. The woman and her children were slaves. They had fled Missouri and were crossing over into the Northern state of Illinois, and to freedom. That night, the woman evaded her pursuers. When she landed on the northern bank of the river she pulled her children to their knees and prayed: ‘Now, you are free; never forget the goodness of the Lord‘. And, with that, one of her children, Augustine Tolton, later to become the first African-American to be ordained priest, was ‘freed’.
Fr. Tolton – Ora Pro Nobis!