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TUES. NOV 1. Lyke House Catholic Center presents 'Tolton: From Slave to Priest' at 7p.m.

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The AUC's Lyke House Catholic Center presents a special performance of Tolton: From Slave to Priest TONIGHT beginning at 7 p.m. The free event will feature a live theatrical one-man drama performed by actor Jim Coleman and is directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions.

Tolton: From Slave to Priest is a powerful new live production based on the life of
Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest. This compelling true story of courage, forgiveness, and reconciliation resonates deeply with modern American audiences. Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, postulator for Fr. Tolton’s canonization cause, is calling Tolton a production that will “inspire a new era of peace, hope and forgiveness in America.” Tolton is a riveting multimedia drama not to be missed. The production runs 75 minutes, and is suitable for middle school age and up.

To characterize Fr. Augustus Tolton’s life as remarkable is an understatement. He was born a slave on a Missouri farm in 1854, and his mother risked everything to reach freedom in Illinois with her three small children. After settling in the town of Quincy, Illinois, the family continued to experience hardships and prejudice. In spite of this, he persevered in his deep desire to become a Catholic priest. When every seminary in the United States rejected him, Augustus did not give up, and he was finally ordained in Rome. Upon his return to Illinois, Fr. Tolton worked tirelessly to serve people of all races, especially the former slaves who flocked to Chicago.

Fr. Tolton saw the Catholic Church as the antidote to the discrimination and rejection that he experienced in his own life. “It was the priests of the Church who taught me to pray and to forgive my persecutors,” he said. “We should welcome all people into the Church, not send them away.”

At the young age of 43, Fr. Tolton died after collapsing from heat exhaustion in Chicago. Now his cause for sainthood is moving forward, as more and more people are beginning to recognize the humble perseverance, courage, and compassion of this extraordinary man.

The Lyke House – The Catholic Center is located at the Atlanta University Center at 809 Beckwith Street. Admission will be a free-will offering. More information available at (847) 849-3309.