First African American Catholic Congress

The first national gathering of people in America was the Black Catholic Congress, held in January, in 1889, at St. Augustine Church in Washington, D.C. The driving force behind these gatherings was Daniel Rudd. In 1886, Rudd founded the American Catholic Tribune, a newspaper for African-American Catholics. At the congress, Reverend Father Augustus Tolton, the first recognized African-American priest, celebrated Solemn Mass. The congresses were a coming of age moment for African-American Catholics.


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