Who are we?
The Tolton Ambassador is a lay person accredited and sent by the Tolton Cause as a regional messenger of the Postulator of the Cause; appointed for the task of supporting the Tolton Guild in an assigned region. Tolton Ambassadors are identified and appointed by the Diocesan Vice-Postulator of the Tolton Cause as needed to complete this important work.
What is the task assigned?
Akin to the gospel narrative of the further 72 (Luke 10) sent forth for evangelization, Tolton Ambassadors are commissioned to:
- Promote the prayer for canonization in a manner that effects the continuation of possible miracles attributed to the intercession of Father Tolton.
- Become the leading, innovative local promoter of the Tolton Cause within a diocesan catchment area providing the best quality of catechesis.
- Work cooperatively with other individuals, churches, entities, organizations, and committees, both public and private, to assure continuity of promoting the Cause in a local area.
Where are we stationed?
- Southeast: Tolton Ambassadors – Atlanta
- Northeast: Tolton Ambassadors – Detroit
- Eastern: Tolton Ambassadors – District of Columbia
- Northern: Tolton Ambassadors – Chicago
- Northeast: Tolton Ambassadors – Indiana
- Southern: Tolton Ambassadors – Louisiana
- Eastern: Tolton Ambassadors – Philadelphia
- West: Associate Members
How many ambassadors have been sent out to the regions?
72 Members as of October 1st, 2020:
- 50 Ambassadorial Members
- 20 Associate Members
- 2 Deceased Members
To inquire about becoming an ambassador, send inquiry to [email protected].
Why is this work important?
Since the inauguration of the Cause for sainthood of Father Augustus Tolton in 2010 by (the late) Cardinal Francis George, OMI, the petitioner of the Cause, Fr. Gus was lifted from the pages of history to show the world the virtues of a holy man who triumphed over tragedy. Currently there is no African- American on the official role of the saints in the Catholic Church. The Venerable Augustus Tolton is a hidden figure with a heroic and virtuous life that always pointed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The universal Church and the world deserve to know that someone of such an ethnic stripe can be found among the Communion of Saints.
In the July 2014 Xavier University of Louisiana, XULA, hosted the very first “Symposium of the Saints”. It offered a lecture series married to a day of reflection on all the sainthood candidates that are of African ancestry. The Institute for Black Catholic Studies ensured its success and even did live streaming around the country and published the proceedings. This gift gave birth to the idea that workers in the vineyard was a must.
On February 3, 2015, The Father Augustus Tolton Guild launched the Tolton Ambassadors program. Since the inauguration of the Cause the Diocesan Postulator, Bishop Joseph Perry, has answered requests of interested audiences for presentations on the Tolton Story and the details of the process for declared sainthood. Over one hundred of these requests have been honored to-date with the assistance of the Rev. Canon, A. Gerard Jordan, sharing the speaking load.
Now that the Cause has been instructed in compliance with the Vatican norms and the dossier sent to Rome for consideration as of September 2014, we have attached to the effort women and men locally and around the country excited about the Cause whose volunteer service entails maintaining a momentum of activity surrounding the Cause. Tolton Ambassadors are commissioned to:
- Teach the faithful about the significance of the Tolton Cause
- Make the Father Tolton story, in cooperation with pastors and religious education leadership, a part of instruction of adults, children and youth
- Promote the absolute necessity of prayer for the success of the Cause
- With permission of local pastors to encourage support of the Cause among the faithful prayerfully and financially through individual and group efforts having searched out appropriate events by way of meetings, days of reflection, banquets, and the like.
Since the establishment of the first three Ambassadors, the founder of the Corps has stressed that our mission should contribute not only to the consolidation of the good relations existing between the Christian faithful on earth with the Communion of Saints in heaven, but also to the building of a more just and peaceful world in which human life, dignity and rights are respected and enhanced, using the Tolton Story as a model to eradicate racism in the Church. Tolton Story is the Gospel of Jesus Christ lived in an enslaved man who would overcome all odds and become priest and servant.
The path to sainthood, in the life of Augustus Tolton began with openness to reconciliation, it is a path which entails renouncing our desire to dominate others through privilege and learning to see one another as human persons, sons and daughters of the Most High God, and as true brothers and sisters of one another, through Jesus the Christ. When we set aside indifference and fear, we can affect a genuine climate of mutual respect, growth and human flourish, and then we can come together to pray, especially for the miracles the world needs, using Tolton as our intercessor.
The Ambassador works to develop a culture of inclusion, a more just social environment, and various opportunities for the participation of all in the life of the local Church in America. The presence of the prayer-diplomats in America who pray for and promote the Tolton Cause, is a sign of the resolution of the regions they represent, and of the national community as a whole, to address the situations of injustice, discrimination, poverty and inequality that trouble our world and threaten the hopes and aspirations of coming generations. They do so to teach the world, although we do not have an African American on the official role of the saints of the Roman Catholic Church, we in fact do have them, the Church just needs to catch up with us.