A Mass honoring the heroic and virtuous life of the Venerable Augustus Tolton, the first Black Catholic priest in the United States, will be celebrated by Archbishop Nelson J. Perez on Saturday, June 26 at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
The Philadelphia Tolton Ambassadors, a group of Catholics dedicated to promoting the cause for sainthood of Father Tolton, is cosponsoring the Mass with the archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics.
The Mass will feature music from the Philadelphia Catholic Mass Choir, and Archbishop Perez will be the homilist.
Father Tolton was a former slave who was baptized and raised Catholic in Illinois. He studied formally for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained in 1886. He ministered in the Archdiocese of Chicago until his death at age 43 in 1897.
He was declared venerable by Pope Francis in June 2019.
Learn more about Father Tolton here, and about the ministry with Black Catholics in the Philadelphia Archdiocese here.
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