"Behold, admirable humility, that the Lord of the heavens should descend to the manger of brute animals."- Saint Bonaventure
A blessed and merry Christmas to you and yours!
|MS Sloan 2468|
Canon law also requires [this is not technically correct, but I suppose it is close enough] that dioceses employ a forensic anthropologist, a medical examiner and archeologist [sic] in the process. Those three men worked on removing the remainder of the soil and uncovered Tolton’s body. It didn’t take long to find the skeletal remains.Over time the earth crushed the wooden coffin in which Tolton was buried. They discovered the casket had a glass top because they found a significant amount of broken glass mixed in with the remains. At the time Tolton died, glass-topped coffins were used for people of position or who were well known. In addition to the skeletal remains, the crews found other items such as metal handles and wood from the coffin, the corpus from a crucifix buried with him, the corpus from his rosary and a portion of his Roman priest’s collar. “The intent of all of this is preserving the remains we have of a possible saint. We want to make sure that anything that we find is preserved so it will go into a sealed casket and from the sealed casket into a sealed vault,” said [Roman] Szabelski.
As the remains were unearthed, the forensic pathologist laid them out on a table in a mortuary bag under which was a new priest’s alb. He pieced the bones together anatomically.
Bishop Paprocki led everyone in the rosary while that was happening. In addition to the skull, they found Tolton’s femurs, rib bones, vertebrae, collarbones, pelvis, portions of the arm bones and other smaller bones.
The forensic pathologist verified by the skull that the remains were of a black person. By the shape and thickness of bones in the pelvic area he was able to determine that the remains were from a male in his early 40s.
Once all of the remains and artifacts were collected, the process to reinter Tolton began. Priests from Springfield vested the remains with a white Roman chasuble and maniple, amice and cincture. Tolton’s remains were then placed in a new casket bearing a plate that identified him as “Servant of God Augustus Tolton,” along with his dates of birth, ordination and death. A document was placed on top of the remains attesting to the work done that day.
Then they wrapped a red ribbon around the casket and sealed it with a wax seal of the Diocese of Springfield. The coffin was in turn placed in a burial vault with another inscription. A second vault held the broken glass and coffin parts and both containers were reinterred in the grave. A closing prayer service wrapped up the solemn process.
The grave will only be opened again if Tolton is beatified, said Bishop Perry. No relics — pieces of bone or any of the other objects found in the grave — were removed that day. Relics can only be shared if Tolton moves on to the next stage in the canonization process — beatification.
One out of every three gift recipients in the U.S. returned at least one gift item during the 2013 holiday season with the total dollars of returned gifts estimated at $262.4 billion (not including fraudulent returns).
|A tent was erected over Father Tolton's grave to shield the workers from the elements/|
Father Tolton was the first African-American priest to work in Quincy, and Bauer says that his legacy adds to the great history of the area.
Bauer says that his legacy adds to the great history of the area.
My gratitude to those people of the Gem City is threefold. Some of the white friends and benefactors of St. Joseph’s church did not forget their colored priest Father Tolton. They did not let him go away empty handed from the Gem City, but as a token of respect they have made him a suitable donation, asking him to remember them in his prayers, and promised to do three times more if he would only remain with them. Catholics will love and respect a priest regardless of nationality; at least that is the spirit of those people in the Gem City who knew me for twenty-nine years or more. Never will I forget the happy hours spent in the little St. Joseph church. I wish them all the blessings that can be bestowed upon them, for that charitable spirit that they have always shown toward me and the colored children.We then heard Leviticus 19:17-18 read aloud and then prayed to God asking him to guide the work of our hands as we exhumed the remains of this holy priest. Then the work of the day began.
As the notary of the day's proceedings, it was my happy duty to record what happened and when it happened throughout the course of the exhumation. This provided me the unexpected privilege - and the sublime joy - of standing at the feet of Father Tolton as his remains were lifted from his grave and clothed again in the sacred vestments of a priest.Workers at St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy exhume Fr. Tolton's grave this morning as part of the canonization process..@archchicago pic.twitter.com/UpVtuyZSPf— Catholic New World (@CathNewWorld) December 10, 2016
We heard next a reading of I John 3:14-16 and gave thanks to God for the work he guided and prayed the Prayer for the Canonization of Father Augustus Tolton.
Father Tolton won the hearts of old and young alike. The secret of his success lay in his innate simplicity and genuine love for all with whom he came into contact. He never tired of telling his people that God cared for each one of them and that he had a deep concern for the welfare of every one of his children. To prove his statements he invariably referred to the Gospel. By means of a clear explanation or simple dramatization, Father Tolton was able to recreate scenes of Christ’s life on earth and his mission among mankind; he repeated the words of the Master with such profound reverence that his hearers sensed the presence of the living Christ. No prelate ever received higher praise than that accorded to Father Tolton by a very young pupil of Saint Joseph’s School. Seeing the priest on the street, the child said to its mother, “See, there goes Jesus” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006, pages 179-180).
Detail of a work by Isabel Armengol