Witness the Journey of the First African American Priest

St. Luke Productions invites you to a free showing of the theater production “Tolton: From Slave to Priest,” the story of the first African American priest, starring actor Jim Coleman. There will be multiple showings around the diocese.

Father Augustus Tolton

The story of Augustus Tolton begins with his mother, Martha, a Missouri slave who travelled 20 miles and crossed the Missouri river with three children in tow to get to the free state of Illinois. Thanks to his mother’s courage, Tolton was able to study for the priesthood in Rome and be ordained a priest in 1886. His sermons in his hometown of Quincy, Illinois caused racial tension, but he continued his mission of spreading the Gospel, and eventually established St. Monica Church in Chicago.

Father Augustus Tolton’s cause for canonization has been presented by Cardinal Francis George to the Vatican and is moving forward quickly.

Event Details

Edward Waters College Milne Auditorium Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

1658 Kings Road, Jacksonville, FL 32209


Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

38 Cathedral Place, St. Augustine, FL 32084


Holy Rosary Catholic Church Friday, Feb. 15 15 at 7 p.m.

4731 Norwood Avenue, Jacksonville FL 32208


Admission to the Feb. 12 and 15 showings will be $10 for adults and $5 for children. For tickets call Crucifixion Catholic Church at (904) 765-5284, Holy Rosary Catholic Church (904) 764-3241, or St. Pius V Catholic Church at (904) 354-1501.

Admission to the Feb. 13 showing is free, although a free-will offering will be taken to cover expenses. For more information, contact Father Tom Willis at cathparish@gmail.com or (904) 824-2806.