Chicago pilgrims visit sites of Fr. Tolton’s birth, baptism
They filled the heavens with sweet accord.–Catholic Missourian
Pilgrims from Chicago sang “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” while gathered at the place of Venerable Father Augustus Tolton’s baptism.
“It was his favorite hymn,” Bishop Joseph N. Perry pointed out. “It was played by a band and sung when he arrived in Quincy after his ordination, and sung again at his funeral.”
Bishop Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago and co-postulator for Fr. Tolton’s sainthood cause, led 29 people on a pilgrimage to Quincy, Illinois, and Brush Creek, Missouri.
Fr. Tolton, born a slave on a northeastern Missouri plantation, was baptized as a baby in the old St. Peter Church in Brush Creek and grew up in Quincy.
Overcoming tremendous difficulty on account of his skin color, he eventually succeeding in becoming the Roman Catholic Church’s first black priest in North America.
The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith sent him back to the United States as a missionary. He ministered in Quincy and then in Chicago until his death in 1897.
His earthly remains are at rest in Quincy.
The Chicago archdiocese opened the sainthood cause for him in 2010.