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Liturgical Press

Augustus Tolton

The Church Is the True Liberator

Joyce Duriga

Augustus Tolton
Augustus Tolton

ISBN: 9780814644744, 4474

Details: 128 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 10/16/2018
Cistercian Publications

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Father Augustus Tolton was the first identified black American ordained to the priesthood in the United States. He was born into slavery and escaped to freedom with his mother and siblings under harrowing circumstances. Throughout his life he displayed a great devotion to the Lord and the Catholic faith despite facing racism within the Church at nearly every turn. Still, he felt and preached that the Catholic Church's teaching that all people are children of God regardless of race made it the true church for African Americans in the United States following the Civil War. In Augustus Tolton, Joyce Duriga brings to light his quiet witness as a challenge to prejudices and narrow-mindedness that can keep us insulated from the universal diversity of the kingdom of God.

Joyce Duriga has served as editor of Chicago Catholic, the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago, since 2007. Prior to coming to Chicago, she was the associate editor of Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newsweekly. She is the author of Helen Prejean: Death Row's Nun (Liturgical Press), and her work appears regularly in local, regional, and national publications.

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This is a story that needs to be told. It's the story of a life scarred by outrageous injustices. Yet rage was not the end of the story. Father Tolton found happiness and holiness in a life of forgiveness, profound love, and self-giving service. Joyce Duriga has once again shown herself to be a master of popular, relevant, readable biography.
Mike Aquilina, EWTN host and author of The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church

"This book is a wonderful look at Tolton's life and devotion to the church despite adversity and prejudice."
Religion Unplugged

The timeless tale of Fr. Tolton's life and contributions presented in Augustus Tolton: The Church Is the True Liberator will undoubtedly inspire and encourage readers to live authentically as faithful and faith-filled witnesses to the light of Jesus Christ.
Ashley Morris, ThM, Associate Director, Office of Intercultural and Ethnic Diversity, Archdiocese of Atlanta

Augustus Tolton's life is living testimony that God's Holy Spirit dwells fully in all human beings, especially those once deemed mere chattel. A slave who became a priest of God? In the wake of the Civil War what must it have been like for White people to receive the Body of Christ from those very black hands?
Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, Author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents