“America has been called the most enlightened nation in the world. We shall see whether it deserves that honor. If the United States has never before seen a Black priest, it must see one now!"
- Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni to Father Tolton
upon his ordination in Rome in 1886
“We are all called to be saints – Father Tolton’s way of life gives us the perfect roadmap.”
- Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
Visit Fr. Tolton
Learn the inspiring story of the first African-American priest in the United States. At age six Augustine Tolton and his family fled to Quincy. With five sites and a mini biography, this tour is as easy as it is educational.
Process of Canonization
All Christians aspire to become saints, that is, persons in heaven (officially canonized or not), who lived lives of great charity and heroic virtues and who are worthy of imitation. In official Church procedures there are several steps to sainthood.
What's in a Name?
What was Fr. Tolton’s first name? It is common to see his first name listed in a variety of ways: Augustine, Augustus, August or Gus, but existing archival records do not provide a clear answer as to which form of his name is correct.