09 July 2012

A blessed anniversary

Today marks the 115th anniversary of Quincy's first citizen, the Servant of God Father Augustus John Tolton, whose Cause for Beatification and Canonization, thanks be to God, continues to move forward.

Having just returned to Chicago from a retreat in Bourbonnais, Illinois, Father Tolton collapsed of heat stroke in 105 degree weather.  He died at Mercy Hospital at the age of 43, having been a priest for 11 years.

If you are in or near Quincy, today, I would ask that you visit his grave in St. Peter's cemetery near 33rd and Broadway.  You'll know it when you see it:

When you visit his grave, please pray first for his beatification and canonization:
O God, we give you thanks for your servant and priest, Father Augustus Tolton, who labored among us in times of contradiction, times that were both beautiful and paradoxical.  His ministry helped lay the foundation for a truly Catholic gathering in faith in our time.  We stand in the shadow of his ministry.  May his life continue to inspire us  and imbue us with that confidence and hope  that will forge a new evangelization for the Church we love. 
Father in Heaven,  Father Tolton’s suffering service sheds light upon our sorrows;  we see them through the prism of your Son’s passion and death.  If it be your Will, O God, glorify your servant, Father Tolton,  by granting the favor I now request through his intercession  (mention your request)  so that all may know the goodness of this priest  whose memory looms large in the Church he loved.

Complete what you have begun in us  that we might work for the fulfillment of your kingdom.  Not to us the glory, but glory to you O God, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord;  Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are our God, living and reigning forever and ever. Amen.
Please pray, also, that Father Tolton's example inspires more priestly vocations:
God our Father, you have found Father Augustus Tolton to be an obedient servant of Christ our eternal high priest and a faithful steward of the mysteries of God.

Father Tolton’s sharing in the Cross of our salvation led him to a life of long suffering in the face of prejudice and misunderstanding, which produced within him the fruits of a great joy and a humble love for you and for your people.  His zeal for the priestly ministry shines brightly before us in this Diocese of Springfield in Illinois in which he served, illuminating for us the path to you.

Through his example and intercession, may many young men within this Diocese respond with generous and courageous love to your Son’s invitation to share in his priesthood so that each of your altars in this Diocese may be served by such a faithful priest as this Servant of God.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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