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Celebrating the Life of Fr. Tolton in Chicago on Saturday, May 11  

Chicago, IL (April 18, 2013) – A special pilgrimage to sites in Chicago where Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God, lived and worked, will be conducted on Saturday, May 11, beginning with 9 a.m. Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Archdiocese’s Cardinal Meyer Center, 3525 South Lake Park Avenue.   This pilgrimage, sponsored by the Office of Bishop Joseph N. Perry, the Office for Black Catholics and the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union, is being presented as an initiative of the Tolton Guild that is advancing the Cause for Canonization.     

Pilgrims will take a step back to 1889 and visit the site of Fr. Tolton’s first apartment in the Bronzeville neighborhood and the storefront site of St. Monica Church, the first black Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Several other stops are on the pilgrimage, including a visit to the grave sites of Fr. Tolton’s mother and sister at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Registration for the pilgrimage that includes lunch and luxury coach transportation can be made at, or by calling 312-534-8377.  The cost for the pilgrimage is $50 per person and includes lunch at Pearl's Place restaurant in Bronzeville.

Father Tolton was the first American diocesan priest of African descent.  Born the son of slaves in Missouri, he studied for the priesthood in Rome because no American seminary would accept him.  Ordained for the Diocese of Quincy in southern Illinois, he later came to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics.  He was only 43 years of age at the time of his death.  His Cause for Canonization was announced by Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, in March 2010, and Tolton was granted the title "Servant of God" by the Sacred Congregation for Causes of Saints at the Vatican in February 2012.

The official website for Father Tolton’s Cause,, includes an extensive biography, timeline of his life and times, and news and events.                     

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