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Catholic leaders to hold Father Toloton pilgrimage

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A pilgrimage to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of Father Augustus Tolton's death will take place in Quincy.

Father Tolton is recognized as the first black priest in the United States and his cause of sainthood is underway in Rome.

Thursday's mile-long pilgrimage will start outside of St. Peter Catholic school and end with prayer at St. Peter Catholic Cemetery where Father Tolton is buried.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, church leaders said they will practice social distancing during the walk and encourage families to spread out from another, as they honor Father Tolton.

"It's his example that we're trying to hold up for people and to say this priest became holy by going about his daily life as a priest in difficult times right here in our own town and if he can do it, we can too," Fr. Daren J. Zehnle said.

The procession will start at 6:30 p.m. followed by evening prayer and a prayer to end racism at 7 p.m. at the cemetery.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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