Gloria Seabrook, long time parishioner of St. Agatha Parish in Chicago, will receive this years Martha Jane Tolton Award during festivities to hon
Gloria Seabrook, long time parishioner of St. Agatha Parish in Chicago, will receive this years Martha Jane Tolton Award during festivities to honor priest of Chicago, Father Augustus Tolton (1854-1897). Center stage, each year at the annual benefit, one mother from one of the parishes is chosen, after consultation with area pastors, who emulates Fr. Tolton’s mother’s courage and heroism getting her three children to freedom from slavery through the Underground Railroad across the Mississippi River into Quincy, Illinois, a free state during this country/’/s Civil War.
This 5th annual benefit is slated for Navy Pier’s Lakeview Terrace on Sunday, November 8, 4 p.m. A prepaid ticket of $100 gets guests into a reception featuring a silent auction with plenty of elegant hors d’oeuvres and a report by Bishop Joseph Perry on the progress of the Cause which now lies in the hands of officials at the Congregation for Causes of Saints at the Vatican.
Twins, Father Desmond Drummer from the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Mundelein Seminary alumnus and his brother, Chicago resident, Demond Drummer will act as MCs for the evening. The St. Philip Neri Chamber Players will provide a string quartet performing classical selections.
The fundraiser assists with underwriting expenses connected with the research and administrative preparation of Tolton’s sainthood Cause here and in Rome.
Priests and religious tried to no avail to get Tolton into a seminary here in the United States. The Franciscan Fathers (OFM) through their contacts at the Vatican arranged for Augustus to be schooled at the Propaganda Fide in Rome. Tolton was ordained a priest with his class Easter Vigil 1886 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome. Father Tolton lived the first three years of priesthood in the Diocese of Alton, the city of Quincy’s St. Joseph Church, an African American Parish, then was received into the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1889 by Archbishop Patrick Feehan, assigned to work among black Catholics here in Chicago and where he laboured till his untimely death July 9, 1897, upon suffering a heat-stroke. He is buried at St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy.
A graphic novel has just been published, suitable for all ages that sets Tolton’s story to color scenes and script depicting the joys and sorrows of one young man’s journey to the priesthood through the 19th century gauntlet of racial turmoil in the US.