In addition to the Black History Month Mass held on Sunday, Feb. 15, the Black Catholic Ministry Commission held a prayer service for the cause for canonization of Father Augustus Tolton at the Parish of St. Stephen in Pennsauken on Friday, Feb. 20. The speaker was Brother A. Gerard Jordan, O. Praem.
Brother Jordan was appointed as special assistant to Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of Canonization of Father Augustus Tolton.
The Acta (dossier) of Father Tolton’s life and arguing his virtues as well as taking testimonials in ecclesiastical court regarding spiritual favors and possible miracles to aid the cause has been done.
Brother Jordan told the Tolton story and answered questions. The Tolton story says to us that transformation is possible through suffering. His story of deliverance from physical slavery and race discrimination offers imagery for all those who find inspiration in his life when suffering persecution or mistreatment because of one’s faith or one’s race.
The Archdiocese of Chicago official website for the Cause for Sainthood includes historical information about his life, various videos that can be viewed online and other important information about his life. The site is: www.toltoncanonization.org.
The prayer service and discussion included music from the new Diocese of Camden Gospel Choir. The choir is still looking for voices. If you are interested please contact the Office of Black Catholic Ministries at 856-583-6184.
James Andrews is director of Black Catholic Ministries for the diocese.