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Bishop Perry to chair center to promote causes
of African American Catholics

Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana, announced July 31 that the university and its Institute for Black Catholic Studies will become the new hub for the advancement of sainthood causes of African-American Catholics.

Verret made the announcement in the university's St. Katharine Drexel chapel.

Privy to this historic announcement were attendees of the Joint Conference 2018 of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, the National Black Sisters Conference, the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association and the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons held in New Orleans July 28-Aug. 2.

Verret said Xavier and its Institute for Black Catholic Studies will serve as hosts and administrators, and Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry will be moderator and chair of the center, whose goal is to unite all guilds advancing the causes of black sainthood.

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Winning essay: Why would Father Tolton value Catholic education?

In honor of Black History Month, the archdiocese’s Black Catholic Initiative held an essay contest for students in Catholic schools with the topic “Why would Father Tolton view a Catholic education as valuable?”

Tolton is the first identified black priest in the United States. The Archdiocese of Chicago opened his cause for canonization in 2011.

Cameran Moy, an eighth grader at St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, 247 W. 23rd St., won the contest and earned a tablet.

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Chicago Catholic: Tolton cause receives positive news from Vatican

The canonization cause of Servant of God Augustus Tolton received important approval from the Vatican’s historical consultants in March, moving the cause forward. 

Tolton, a former slave, is the first recognized American diocesan priest of African descent. Cardinal Francis George opened his cause for canonization in 2011. 

On March 8, the consultants in Rome ruled that the positio (equivalent to a doctoral dissertation on a person’s life) was acceptable and the research on Tolton’s life was finished, said Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry, postulator for Tolton’s cause.

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Copyright 2016 Trinity Icons

Icon of Father Augustus Tolton

The icon of Fr. Tolton was commissioned by Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Postulator for the Father Tolton Cause for Canonization, who asked Chicago iconographer, Joseph Malham, to create the icon as a manifestation of Fr. Tolton's inner fire for Christ, the Eucharist and the people of God whom he served.

To learn more about purchasing a print of this Father Tolton Icon, visit Trinity Icons.
Half the proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Father Tolton Canonization

Father Augustus Tolton:
The First Recognized Black Catholic Priest in America

Available Now
Bishop Perry Letter | Download Order Form | Order at

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The Cause for Sainthood

This video documents the life of Fr. Tolton
and the growing support and excitement
over his possible canonization.