Father Tolton honored with pilgrimage through Quincy - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Father Tolton honored with pilgrimage through Quincy

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Praying at the grave site Praying at the grave site
Around 30 people came Around 30 people came
Father Toltons burial site Father Toltons burial site
Father Zehnle speaking Father Zehnle speaking
Father Tolton Father Tolton
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

As a famous Quincy priest inches closer to sainthood, he was remembered Sunday with a pilgrimage procession to his grave site on the 120th anniversary of his death. 

"We are just trying to maintain a quiet mindset as we go from here to his grave," Father Daren Zehnle said. "To remember the life and the witness that he has given to us. That's our goal here (Sunday) today, to ask Father Tolton to teach us how we can follow Jesus more closely as he did. "

People walked about half a mile through Quincy to get to his grave site at St. Peter Catholic Cemetery.

"It's a way for people to leave their ordinary life behind and to go to the place of someone who lived the gospel very well. To ask their intercession to learn from them how they can better follow Jesus," Zehnle said.

Father Tolton was the nations first known African American priest. 

"Father Tolton's legacy is one of long suffering. It's a phrase we don't use much anymore, but it's used to describe someone who willing and patiently endured hardships because of other people," Zehnle said. 

People who joined in pilgrimage procession said they felt closer to Father Tolton. 

"Were here to glorify and magnify who he was as a human being," Reg Ankrom said. "It's a great time to be alive and to have the opportunity to support the cause of the serving of God Father Tolton."

Father Zehnle said he hopes this helps people remember his history. 

"I hope we can continue getting the interest in the life of Father Tolton to grow and flourish so all of us can look to him today (Sunday), especially in this divided world, on how we can grow united together," Zehnle said. 

Father Zehnle said the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is looking into Father Tolton's heroic life virtue's and beautification.

Once they prepare a case, including the approval of miracles, the case is presented to Pope Francis, who then decides whether or not to proceed with the canonization.

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