Augustus Tolton, America’s First Black Priest, Exhumed During Sainthood Application

Augustus Tolton, America’s First Black Priest, Exhumed During Sainthood Application

A black priest who spent much of his life serving Catholics in western Illinois and Chicago is closer to becoming a saint. According to the Chicago Archdiocese, Father Augustus Tolton was the first African American priest in the country. Tolton died in 1897 and his remains were lifted from the ground Saturday to avoid further deterioration and to confirm he actually existed. Tolton’s skeleton is being preserved while the Vatican reviews his application for sainthood.