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From Slave to Priest: A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolton (1854-1897) First Black American Priest of the United States
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From Slave to Priest: A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolton (1854-1897) First Black American Priest of the United States

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Fr. Augustine Tolton (1854-1897) was the first black priest in the United States. Born into a black Catholic slave family, Father Tolton conquered almost insurmountable odds to become a Catholic priest, and at his early death at 43, this pioneer black American priest left behind a shining legacy of holy service to God, the Church and his people.


With the thorough scholarly

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Hardcover, 251 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Ignatius Press (first published June 1974)
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Nicola Mansfield
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: I enjoy reading biographies Religious and I have a particular interest in the Civil War era and escaped slaves.

Augustine Tolton escaped slavery with his mother and two siblings when he was 8 years old. He had belonged to a Catholic family that had brought their slaves up in the religion. Augustine was always taken with the Faith, though the hypocrisy of his slave owners did not escape him. As a boy growing up in Quincy, Illinois he soon knew that he wanted to be a priest but
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Paul
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It gets five stars for the intriguing content and maybe 3.5 for writing style, but I'm going to go ahead and drop 5 overall. This book paints a really vivid picture of the rough life of a former slave who early on felt called to become a priest, worked very hard and endured quite a bit of rejection on the way toward that goal, had the amazing mountaintop experience of getting to study and receive ordination in Rome, then came back and worked himself to death attempting to share the beauty he saw ...more
Patti
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting from the St. Louis/Alton/Springfield perspective about how it must have felt to be the first African American priest.
Robert Nwadiaru
Jun 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: add
This is a must read for anybody who wants to know how racial segregation was treated in the United States of America, especially in the Catholic church in the nineteenth century.

Despite the treatment melted out to him because of his pigmentation, Father Augustine Tolton persevered to the end and was ordained a catholic priest. The discrimination did not stop with his ordination; rather, it continued. Today he is on the cause of sainthood. This is the benefit of perseverance no matter the odds.
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Rose
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent look into the life of a very important and godly man. In addition, it is very important look at race relations in the North following the Civil War. We are often told in history in high school in the North that racism was a southern problem, but this book gives an excellent picture of how difficult it was for Tolton, his family, and other African-Americans to live and worship in the North even after escaping slavery and following the end of the war.
Morgan Blomstedt
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great look at the life of Reverend Augustine Tolton, having a number of first hand recourses this story is told in an accurate representation.
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.K. Frailey
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book that really explores the heights and depths of human yearning and how far a person can go if they believe they are called by God to fulfill a mission. It also deals with those men and women who made Fr. Tolton's life more positive or more difficult. He was an exceptional human being who cared deeply for all of humanity and was willing to encounter and re- encounter every difficulty in order to help his fellow human being. He was truly color-blind and so were the best of ...more
Victor
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am from the Chicagoland area, and I enjoy its history. This book discusses an important part of that. It in some ways saddens me that many of the struggles that Father Augustine Tolton had are the same ones that exist today, but his faith helped him through them, which encourages me. I have a lot of respect for this man of God.
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May 13, 2018 added it
A little sobering that he basically died young at 43 from exhaustion in priestly ministry.
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