In the face of real-world forces that are affecting African American congregations in Chicago and across our nation, we will develop an initiative that seeks to celebrate the legacy and gifts of black Catholic spirituality and infuse our communities with a renewed hope for the future. Saint Ambrose and Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Churches, both located on the south side of Chicago, will establish the Tolton Spirituality Center, a non-profit clearinghouse and community hub that will draw upon the life and legacy of Augustus Tolton -- a former slave and the first black priest in the United States -- to move congregations from surviving to thriving. Through the formation of parish-based leadership teams and supported by the community partners, the Center will strengthen existing efforts and develop new programs and ministries to animate the tangible gifts, spiritual graces, and prophetic witness of Father Tolton. Working as a model, this collaborative learning journey will provide the educational and practical resources to help black Catholic parishes on the south side understand and apply the fundamental principles and practices of Tolton spirituality as they reaffirm core values to build a more sustainable and mission-focused Church.
Tolton Spirituality Center