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In the Community

Tolton | From Slave to Priest

You’re invited to attend a special performance of Tolton, the inspiring, challenging true story of the man who overcame great adversity to become the first African-American Catholic priest. Fr. Augustus Tolton was born into slavery in 1854 in Missouri, during the Civil War. He, his mother, and his siblings escaped and settled in Quincy, Illinois where they were able to start a new life in freedom.

This national touring production will introduce audiences to the remarkable story of Fr. Tolton, whose cause has been opened for canonization with the Vatican and which has already passed several benchmarks in the process.

Fr. Tolton is played by Jim R. Coleman, who has worked in Hollywood for more than 30 years with roles in Ant-Man, The Quad, American Gangster, Law & Order, and a starring role in the Nickelodeon series My Brother and Me.

Event Details

  • Monday, October 9 at 7:00 PM
  • Holy Name Heights Diocesan Center, located at 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI
  • Requested offering of $25/seat (a free-will donation of any amount is appreciated)
  • Seats must be reserved ahead of time
  • For info and to reserve tickets, email Greg and Ann Wagner at
  • Performance is suitable for ages 10+

Father Tolton went through some of the same struggles and temptations that I go through, like forgetting Christ and not being sure of my vocation. Even though he kept getting rejected, he kept trusting in Christ and persevering.

8th grade student