Discussing the cause of Augustus Tolton with Bishop Perry on Morning Glory!

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Kick off your Wednesday with Morning Glory tomorrow on EWTN radio with Father Thomas Petri back with us! He’ll be sharing stories about his trip to my hometown–San Francisco and his stay at St. Dominic’s! We’ll also be discussing Trump’s big meeting with Romney and any news on the transition team.

Guests tomorrow include Bishop Joseph Perry who serves as the Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago on the cause for Augustus Tolton. We might start out with clarifying the name of the priest whom the Church is interested in canonizing. Father Tolton is known by several different names around the country: Augustus and Augustine and August. From what we can determine from the archival material documenting his life: the letters written by Father Tolton in his own hand, he always and consistently signed his name as “A. Tolton”. He never wrote out his first name. This may well be his personal acknowledgement that he was known by a couple variations of his first name. His baptismal record lists his name as “Augustine”. The handwritten testimonial of his baptism sent to Rome lists his name as “Augustine.” His Confirmation record at St. Peter Church in Quincy, Illinois, lists his name as “August”. He was known in Quincy as “Augustine” and later, “Father Gus”. Records in Rome list him as “Augustus”. Fellow clergy in Chicago called him “Father Gus”. Various church enterprises bearing his name around the country today will call him “Augustine,” others “Augustus.” The vast majority of archival material lists his name as “Augustine”. A great, great grand niece of Father Tolton, daughter of his sister, Anne Tolton, in her book “A Place For My Children,” by Sabrina Penn, Penn Ink, Chicago, Ill, 2007, chapter 5, pp. 41-44, mentions that Father Tolton was named after his maternal grandfather, Augustus Chisley. It could well be that the priest who baptized him determined that “Augustus” was a non-Christian name and, therefore, as so frequently happened at baptisms, the priest at the baptismal font, christianized the name by changing it to the great 4th century saint and doctor of the Church, St. Augustine of Hippo!

We’ll also explore Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Congressman Tom Price of Georgia, with Maureen Ferguson of the Catholic Association. Price has an 100 percent pro-life record and is well positioned to champion truly comprehensive health care. He helped lead the charge to defund Planned Parenthood through budget reconciliation, setting the stage for President-elect Trump and a pro-life Congress to reallocate those funds to support comprehensive women’s healthcare. As HHS Secretary, he will play a key role in developing a robust health care reform proposal that protects life and consciences, while promoting options for low-income individuals and families.”

We’ll also be joined by Dr. Kevin Starr to discuss his amazing ambitious book on the history of Catholics in North America. Continental Ambitions Roman Catholics in North America: The Colonial Experience. Kevin Starr has achieved a fast-paced evocation of three Roman Catholic civilizations—Spain, France, and Recusant England—as they explored, evangelized, and settled the North American continent. This book represents the first time this story has been told in one volume. Showing the same narrative verve of Starr’s award-winning Americans and the California Dream series, this riveting—but sometimes painful—history should reach a wide readership.

Starr begins this work with the exploration and temporary settlement of North America by recently Christianized Scandinavians. He continues with the destruction of Caribbean peoples by New Spain, the struggle against this tragedy by the great Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Jesuit and Franciscan exploration and settlement of the Spanish Borderlands (Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Baja, and Alta California), and the strengths and weaknesses of the mission system.

He then turns his attention to New France with its highly developed Catholic and Counter-Reformational cultures of Quebec and Montreal, its encounters with Native American peoples, and its advance southward to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The volume ends with the founding of Maryland as a proprietary colony for Roman Catholic Recusants and Anglicans alike, the rise of Philadelphia and southern Pennsylvania as centers of Catholic life, the Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, and the return of John Carroll to Maryland the following year.

Starr dramatizes the representative personalities and events that illustrate the triumphs and the tragedies, the achievements and the failures, of each of these societies in their explorations, treatment of Native Americans, and translations of religious and social value to new and challenging environments. His history is notable for its honesty and its synoptic success in comparing and contrasting three disparate civilizations, albeit each of them Catholic, with three similar and differing approaches to expansion in the New World.

Join us and share your thoughts, comments, questions here!


Alyssa Murphy

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