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HOW NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS SHINES LIGHT ON BLACK CATHOLIC LEGACIES ALIVE TODAY; FATHER TOLTON...L (554 hits)

For Immediate Release From NBCC!

(A 5 Minute Read)



Augustus was born in the U.S. to two slaves, Peter Paul Tolton and his wife Martha Jane, on April 1, 1854. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Peter Paul hoped to gain freedom for his family and escaped to the North where he served in the Union Army and was one of the 180,000 blacks who were killed in the war. His widow decided that she would see her husband’s quest for freedom realized in his children. After she managed to cross the Mississippi River she made her way to Illinois and settled in the small town of Quincy. When her children attempted to attend Catholic school to be educated by the Sisters of Notre Dame, parents of the other school children were not happy. So the Sisters of Notre Dame decided to tutor the Tolton children privately.

As Augustus grew older he began to display an interest in the priesthood. His parish priests, Fathers McGuirr and Richardt, encouraged the young man in this aspiration and tried to enroll in several dicoesan seminaries, but without success. They then decided to begin Augustus’ education in theology themselves. Finally in 1878, the Franciscan College in Quincy accepted Augustus, and two years later he was enrolled at the college of the Propaganda Fidei in Rome.

After completing his courses in Rome, Augustus Tolton was ordained on April 24, 1886. His first assignment was Saint Joseph parish in his hometown of Quincy, where he served for two years and gained enormous respect from many of the German and Irish parishioners. He was later given a parish on the south side of the city, Saint Augustine, which later became Saint Monica. This would be Fr. Tolton’s parish for life, and the center from which he ministered to all the Black Catholics of Chicago. He addressed the First Catholic Colored Congress in Washington DC in 1889.

The cause for Fr. Tolton’s canonization was begun in 2010. In 2015, the cause received affirmation of the juridical validity of the Archdiocesan inquiry into his life and virtues by the Congregation for Causes of Saints, and so Fr. Tolton received the distinction of Servant of God.

Learn more HERE!: https://tolton.archchicago.org/the-cause

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Elizabeth Lange was born around 1794 in Santiago de Cuba, where she lived in a primarily French-speaking community. She received an excellent education and in the early 1800s she left Cuba and settled in the United States in Baltimore. Elizabeth was a courageous, loving, and deeply spiritual woman. There was no free public education for African American children in Maryland until 1868, so she responded to that need by opening a school for the children in her home in the Fells Point area of the city.

Providence intervened through the person of Reverend James Hector Joubert, SS, who was encouraged by James Whitfield, Archbishop of Baltimore to present Elizabeth Lange with the idea to found a religious congregation for the education of African American girls. Father Joubert would provide direction, solicit financial assistance, and encourage other “women of colour” to become members of this, the first congregation of African American women religious in the history of the Catholic Church. Elizabeth joyfully accepted Father Joubert’s idea. On July 2, 1829 Elizabeth and three other women professed their vows and became the Oblate Sisters of Providence. Elizabeth, the foundress and first superior general, took the religious name Mary.

William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, opened a formal investigation into Mother Lange’s life and works of charity in 1991. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine for the Causes of Saints approved the cause of her sainthood in 2004, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore celebrated a canonical celebration at the transfer and blessing of Mother Lange’s remains. The faithful venerated the relics before they were sealed in a reliquary and sarcophagus in the chapel’s oratory. Pope Francis named her as Venerable on June 22, 2023.


Learn more HERE!: https://www.motherlange.org/

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Saint Moses, the Black, was a desert monk, born around 330. He was an Ethiopian of great physical strength and unruly character. Moses was a big man and his enormous strength was well known. He belonged to a band of professional thieves and robbers in Egypt. Fearing eventual death from his Ethiopian master, or other criminals, Moses ran away into the Scete Desert. No regular people were there, only poor hermits with nothing worth stealing. The hermits converted Black Moses to Jesus; yet his former bad ways held on to him. In order to fight harder for Jesus, Moses moved further into the desert. He was chosen for priesthood, and at his ordination the bishop remarked to him, “Now the black man is made white”. Moses replied, “Only outside, for God knows I am all black within.”

Learn more HERE!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_the_Bl...


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A self-proclaimed “old folks child,” Thea Bowman was born Bertha Elizabeth Bowman in 1937, the daughter of a doctor and a teacher. She was raised in Canton, Mississippi. As a child she converted to Catholicism through the influence of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, who taught her and nurtured her faith.

Growing up, Thea listened and learned from the wit and wisdom of family members and those in the community. Ever precocious, she would ask questions and seek new insights on how her elders lived, thrived and survived. From them she learned survival skills and coping mechanisms. She was exposed to the richness of the African-American culture: its history and stories, music and songs, customs and rituals, prayers and symbols.

Thea was cognizant that God was indeed the God of the poor and oppressed. Her community instructed her, “If you get, give—if you learn, teach.” She developed a deep and abiding love and faith in a God who would make “a way out of no way!”


Learn more HERE!: https://www.sistertheabowman.com/


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NBCC is Rooted in Our Faith

We foster freedom and growth of Black Catholics as members of the Catholic Church and society. Our baptismal commitment impels us to evangelize and witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our mission is renewed and developed every five years at our national congress.

Learn more HERE!: https://nbccongress.org/noteworthy-black-c...

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DID YOU MISS THE WEBINAR: APOLOGETICS WITHOUT APOLOGIES


Dr. Mario Dance reveals the critical need for Catholics to share apologetics, not in apology, but to reveal the God’s truth. People hear about the Catholic Church and want to know more about us. They wonder, “Why would anyone want to be Catholic especially if they’re African American??” In this talk I hope to motivate people about the importance of speaking up and speaking out about the Catholic faith in a way that is engaging, intelligent, respectful and winsome.

Watch full Webinar HERE!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ae4PWsRHU...


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PODCASTS: Tune in to Black Catholic Podcasts


Discover what your faith means for your marriage, family, professional life and the issues of our time. Learn how Black Catholics are active in the Church and society. Hear answers to questions about God, the Church, and living a spiritual life in today’s world.

Listen to Black Catholic Podcasts HERE!: https://nbccongress.org/podcasts/


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UPCOMING WEBINAR: Walking Humbly With God


NBCC 2024 Webinar Series

Walking Humbly With God: Revitalizing the Church through Fellowship and Community, presented by Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 11:00 AM EST. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/W...

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Empower Your Faith: Catholic Life

Equip yourself for your Catholic Faith journey. Get daily Mass readings, check up on our community prayer wall, and learn about vocations to the priesthood, religious and married life.


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PARISH FINDER: Find a Black Catholic Parish


Looking for a church to call home? Black Catholics are worshipping and growing in faith together in their parish communities. Find one that’s near you.

Find A Black Parish HERE!: https://www.usccb.org/committees/african-a...

VISIT: https://nbccongress.org/


Posted By: agnes levine
Thursday, February 15th 2024 at 1:42PM
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