Friday, December 31, 2010

From Slave to Priest

From Slave to Priest by Caroline Hemesath is A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolton - The First Black Priest of the United States. The author provides background information prior to Father Tolton's birth as well as additional information about events after his death. It's a complete rendering of not only the story of Tolton's life but the events surrounding his life. In addition, readers will learn about the plight of Catholic blacks in post Civil War America.
Father Tolton was born a slave in 1854 in Missouri; not someone you would ever imagine to become an ordained Catholic priest. But due to a series of events in his life and multiple individuals doing what they could go get him the education need prior to seminary and even finding a seminary willing to accept a black candidate, Father Tolton overcame many obstacles to fulfill his vocation in life. Father Tolton worked long hard hours at mulitple menial jobs to raise money for his training, he spent hours in private tutoring sessions in order to be prepared for seminary and he endured many rejections from seminaries unwilling to accept him as a candidate because he was black.
This book may seem a bit dry at first but if one sticks to it, they'll find a fascinating story of a determined young man not giving up on his dream of being a priest. I actually started reading this on more than one occassion but finally got drawn into the story while waiting for Mass to begin on Christmas Eve. I thank God for the gift of having to be at Mass early and for the peace to be able to focus on this moving story of an amazing man. If you enjoy stories of those that overcome adversity to do God's will, then this is the book for you.
You can purchase this book here.
I wrote this review of From Slave to Priest for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.
Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


Barb Schoeneberger said...

So glad this book is out and that you reviewed it. Father Tolton's story is one that should be told. In fact, I'd like to see Catholic Churches take down the icons of Martin Luther King and put one up of this priest. He would be a good social justice patron.

Renee said...

next time I'm in our predominately black Catholic parish, I'll have to check to see if there is MLK or Father Tolton...