T O L T O N: From Slave to Priest
America’s First Black Priest
Filled with Music, Drama & Inspiring Performances
Where: St. Clare Roman Catholic Church
When: Friday November 15th at 7:30pm
(Admission will be a free-will Offer)
“A colored child born April 1, 1854, son of Peter Tolton and Martha Chisley, property of Stephen
Elliott.” That’s all it says in the baptismal record for Father Augustus Tolton.
Born a slave to Peter Paul and Martha Tolton, of Brush Creek, Missouri, he grew up to become the first
African American Catholic priest.
Augustus Tolton grew up in the Catholic Faith and in the conviction that God was calling him to be a priest.
Constantly the victim of racial prejudice, he was cast out of the local Catholic school. Because no US
seminary would accept him, he went on to study for the priesthood in Rome.
He was ordained on April 24, 1886 in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, with the intention of heading for Africa as a missionary.
However, God had other plans. Instead, Augustus was sent back into the hostile environment of his own hometown of Quincy, Illinois.
His sermons and presence there were inspiring and charismatic.
(From Slave to Priest, this powerful one-man drama performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by
Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented here at our Parish on November 15th at 7:30pm and St. Bernard the Moor on 11/17 at 3pm.)
Learn more at www. Toltondrama.com
Sponsored by the Southeast Queens 9 Deanery