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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sainthood cause for first African-American priest

Earlier this week, the Chicago archdiocese announced it was opening the canonization cause of Father Augustus Tolton, a former slave who made headlines when he was ordained in Rome in 1886, becoming the first African-American priest.

As Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, noted in announcing the opening of the cause, Father Tolton had to study in Rome because, sadly, no American seminary would accept him. Father Tolton served in Quincy, Ill., before coming to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. (Click HERE to read Catholic News Agency's story on Father Tolton)

In announcing the opening of Father Tolton's cause, Cardinal George wrote, "...during this Year for Priests it would be good to pray to him and to ask the Lord to send us many more priests like him." Well said.

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