Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Fr. Augustine Tolton

Fr. Augustine Tolton was the first publicly-recognized black Catholic priest. After his studies and ordination in Rome in 1886, Fr. Tolton was assigned as a parish priest in Quincy, Illinois and eventually transferred to Chicago, where he helped develop a “national Negro parish.” Fr. Tolton was so charismatic that he faced opposition from both white Catholics, who resented that many of their peers were choosing to attend Fr. Tolton’s parish, and black Protestants, who resented that black Americans were joining another denomination.