Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

CNN tribute to 1st black US priest

Catholic World News - September 06, 2010

CNN has published a commentary paying tribute to Father Augustus Tolton (1854-97), the nation’s first African-American priest. The Archdiocese of Chicago opened his sainthood cause earlier this year.

“Father Tolton’s experience resonates with many black Catholics,” writes C. Vanessa Williams, a professor at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. “For every two steps forward-- the ordination and cause for sainthood of Father Augustus Tolton, the National Black Catholic Lay Congresses of the 19th and 20th centuries-- there are two steps back, like the recent shuttering of the African-American parishes and schools in the inner cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Missouri, and Los Angeles, California, and the struggles of black Catholic lay ministerial leadership who strive to be accepted within the broader Church.”

Correction: Father James Augustine Healy, who would eventually become the Bishop of Portland, Maine, was actually ordained to the priesthood earlier than Father Tolton. Although Bishop Healy was light-skinned, reflecting his racially mixed background, his African ancestry is not in doubt.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,907 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,092.96
19% 81%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities 17 hours ago
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16
In showdown with American sisters, the Vatican blinked December 16
Policing, torture, reasons of State, and our Christian mistake December 16
Can torture ever be justified? Round II. December 15

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - 15 hours ago