About Father Augustus Tolton

Resources on Father Tolton


Below you can find additional media resources on Father Augustus Tolton.


  • Davis, Cyprian. The History of Black Catholics in the United States. New York: Crossroads, 1990.
    • Chapter 6 is entitled “Shepherd with Black Skins” and focuses on the first African American priests including Fr. Augustus Tolton, the Healey Brothers and the Josephites.
  • Hemeseth, Caroline. From Slave to Priest. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006. Originally published by Franciscan Herald, 1973.
    • This is still considered the definitive book on the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton. While it was originally published by Franciscan Herald Press, it was reissued by Ignatius Press with a new introduction.
  • Ochs, Stephen. Desegregating the Altar: The Josephites and the Struggle for Black Priests. 1871-1960. Louisiana State University Press, 1993.
    • Dr. Ochs has written an extensive book on the struggle to have an indigenous African American Roman Catholic priesthood in the United States. While a majority of the book focuses on the Josephites, there is a section on Fr. Augustus Tolton.
  • Penn, Sabrina. A Boy Named Gus. Chicago: Penn Ink, 2010.
    • A Story about Fr. Augustus Tolton, America’s first African American Catholic priest.


Enduring Faith – Produced by the Diocese of Buffalo, NY, focuses on Josephites and their struggle to have an indigenous black priesthood. A section of the film focuses on the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton.