“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

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“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

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The story of Quincy’s Venerable Father Augustine Tolton inspires, motivates, and is a reminder God has a plan for all of us – no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. From a slave in Missouri to the nation’s first black priest who started his ministry in Quincy, Father Tolton lived a life of deep faith, humility, and perseverance. He carried daily crosses of racism, prejudice, and hatred with love, and he was dedicated to leading others to God. Father Tolton is a man who lived a life of truly heroic virtue and is well on the path toward his sainthood being formally recognized by the Catholic Church. In the meantime, we can continue to ask for his intercession, honor this servant of God, and remember that no matter how ordinary we think we are – we can all overcome the odds to do extraordinary things, to live a heroic Christian life and become a saint.

Report a miracle

The next step in the Cause of Venerable Father Augustine Tolton is for him to be declared Blessed. In order for Venerable Tolton to be declared Blessed, a miracle must be verified and attributed to his intercession.

Report a miracle!

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.

Download the Driving Tour Guide

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.

Learn more about the process

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.

Learn more about his name