The Cause

Statement of Personages

“Although slavery ended legally after the American Civil War, severe racial prejudice remained dominant in American life for many decades; the Church was not immune to this evil. Participation of blacks in ordinary political, economic, social and even religious life was hampered and curtailed at every turn. Father Tolton lived courageously in the midst of this prejudice with the help of some Catholic priests, religious sisters and laity. The introduction of his Cause now gives the Church as a whole the opportunity to affirm his courage and enable him, long after his death, to take his place in our history and our prayers.”
– Francis Cardinal George, OMI
   Archbishop of Chicago

“As an obedient servant of Christ the eternal high priest and a faithful steward of the mysteries of God, Father Tolton’s sharing in the Cross led him to a life of long-suffering in the face of prejudice and misunderstanding, which produced within him the fruits of joy and a humble love for God and the people. His zeal for the priestly ministry illuminates for us the path to God.”
– Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

“Tolton’s story is one of carving out one’s humanity as a man and as a priest in an atmosphere of racial volatility. His was a fundamental and pervasive struggle to be recognized, welcomed and accepted. He rises wonderfully as a Christ-figure, never uttering a harsh word about anyone or anything while being thrown one disappointment after another. He persevered among us when there was no logical reason to do so.”
 Bishop Joseph N. Perry
   Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
   Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of Augustus Tolton

“Born into a black Catholic slave family, Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854 – 1897) conquered almost insurmountable odds to become one of the very first black priests in the United States. A deeply inspiring portrait of a great American Catholic.”
 Ignatius Press