The Black Catholic Initiative recently held an essay contest in the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which students were asked to address this topic: "Why I think or believe Father Augustus Tolton should be a saint."
The winner of the essay contest - Andre Sherley, a sixth grade student at Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy - received a tablet computer on which he can continue to write.
The Catholic New World - the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago - printed Andre's excellent essay, the conclusion of which reads as follows:
A saint is a person who helps people and continues to do God’s work — even if people try to do things to stop him. Father Tolton went through a lot of suffering during his lifetime.
He displayed patience, courage and humility while trying to live his life’s dream of becoming a priest. He is someone we can be proud of.
As an African-American Catholic, I am very proud to say he is someone I can look up to. Father Tolton was devoted to his dream and to the dream of the church. Even though it was hard, even though it was difficult, Father Tolton completed his task and continued doing the plan that God had for him.
Clearly, Andre has learned well from Father Tolton!