Father Augustus Tolton

The Slave Who Became the First African-American Priest

About this item

In these fascinating pages, popular author and speaker Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers tells the gripping story of Augustine Tolton, who valiantly overcame a series of seemingly insurmountable challenges — birth into slavery, his father’s death, abject poverty, and even being denied acceptance by every Catholic seminary in America — to become the first black American priest.

Despite the hardships placed on Fr. Tolton by a culture rooted in racial hatred, he became a tireless messenger of the Gospel, plunging into the Deep South where segregation was decreed by harsh laws, penetrating even the hardest of hearts with the richness, beauty, and truth of the Catholic Faith. 

He was a beacon of hope to black Catholics in the 19th Century who were trying to find a home in the American Church. He was a visionary who saw beyond race and politics, teaching that the Catholic Church wants to free us not just from slavery, but from slavery to sin. 

Amidst great persecution, Fr. Tolton showed us that being configured to Christ means emptying ourselves so that God can fill us, exposing the weakest parts of who we are so that God can make us strong, becoming blind to the ways of this world so Christ can lead us, and dying to ourselves so we can rise with Christ. 

All who seek to be formed more perfectly to Christ have a role model in Fr. Tolton, a persevering and holy man who sought above all the salvation of souls.

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Editorial Reviews

Gloria Purvis photo

"Deacon Harold’s riveting account of Father Tolton’s life jumps off the page and into your heart. He invites us to connect with the struggles and victories of Father Tolton, Tolton’s mother and family as we examine them against the backdrop of our own struggles. Deacon also shares his own experiences, gives concrete examples of how to advance in the spiritual life, and ties it all to the wisdom of Scripture and the saints. This book should be a part of every Catholic’s personal library. "

Gloria Purvis
Host of The Morning Glory Radio Show, Editor of The African American Youth Bible
Tim  Staples  photo

"The life of Fr. Augustus Tolton is one of the most inspiring stories in Catholic American history. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers does a masterful job bringing to life the immense struggles and overwhelming joy of one of most incredible priests in our country s history."

Tim Staples
Director of Apologetics and Evangelization at Catholic Answers

Product Details

  • Pages: 176
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-68278-058-9
  • Product Code: Q80589
  • Availability: In Stock

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