Black Catholic History Month: Brush Creek Cemetery

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While researching a little about Brush Creek MO, birthplace of America’s first black priest

which we read about in From Slave to Priest by Sister Caroline Hemesath, I found this gem of a priest, Fr. Daren Zehnle and his blog, Servant and Steward.  Father Zehnle is a priest of the Springfield, IL diocese and is championing the cause of Fr. Tolton’s canonization.

One of the posts I found while digging around (mmm, I know) had this wonderful photo of Bishop Paprocki meandering through the slave’s graves, probably praying for their souls, in the Brush Creek Catholic slave cemetery.  I told here a little more about Brush Creek.

Illinois' Bishop Paprocki on a pilgrimage to Brush Creek, birthplace of Fr. Augustine Tolton

Illinois’ Bishop Paprocki on a pilgrimage to Brush Creek, birthplace of Fr. Augustine Tolton

I find it so appropriate that Black Catholic History month falls in November

which happens to also be the month that Catholics around the world devote to praying for the souls in the Body of Christ who have passed on to judgement.

Father Zehnle printed this quote from Saint Damien of Molokai (one of my children’s name saints!):

“My greatest pleasure is to go there [the cemetery] to say my beads, and meditate on that unending happiness which so many of them are already enjoying.”

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