Leo played host to a very special guest on Thursday, Dec. 3 when Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago, celebrated Mass for students, faculty and staff in the school auditorium. Among his other duties, Bishop Perry is the Vicar for Vicariate VI within the Archdiocese, of which Leo is a member.
In his homily, Bishop Perry told the story of Rev. Augustus Tolton, who is up for canonization to sainthood next year. A direct descendant of slaves, Rev. Tolton was the first African American to be ordained a priest in the United States. Though he was born a free man, he was very nearly arrested and held as a runaway slave after his family was apprehended during a “border skirmish” involving Illinois and Missouri interests in the early days of the Civil War.
Father Tolton was known for ministering to former slaves and other African Americans who migrated to Chicago after the Civil War. He was only 43 when he died in 1897.
After Mass, Bishop Perry toured the school and met with students and staff. He complimented Leo on the “orderly learning environment” it maintains.