A Novena is a period of public or private prayer lasting either nine days, weeks, or hours consecutively, to mark an important occasion, obtain a particular grace, or prayer for a special intention. The prayers are often directed to the intercession of a Saint or a particular virtue of Christ. The model for all Novenas is the celebration of the nine days traditionally observed between Ascension and Pentecost when Mary and the apostles waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The Novena for the Spiritual Welfare of the Black American Community is a special time of prayer in which people all over the world call to God through the intercession of Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God, for the Spiritual Welfare of the Black American Community. The three ideal times for this Novena are:
– Prefacing his Birth: March 23 to March 31
– Prefacing his Date of Ordination: April 15 to April 23
– Prefacing his Death: June 30 to July 8
Augustine John Tolton (April 1, 1854 – July 9, 1897), was the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States, publicly known to be Black when he was ordained in 1886. He was born into slavery in Missouri and was Baptized and reared Catholic. After responding to his call to the priesthood, Tolton studied formally in Rome and was ordained there on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral-Archbasilica of St. John Lateran; after which he was assigned to the diocese of Alton (now Diocese of Springfield). Father Augustus first served to his home parish in Quincy, Illinois with tremendous success and was later assigned to Chicago where he led the development and construction of St. Monica’s Catholic Church as a Black “national parish church”, completed in 1893 at 36th and Dearborn Streets on Chicago’s South Side. Read more about Father Augustus Tolton HERE. Also check out Father Augustus Tolton Cause for Canonization.
for the Spiritual Welfare
of the Black American Community
(This Novena was approved and Blessed by Bishop Joseph Perry on October 22, 2012)
(Download PDF of the Novena Prayer Booklet Here)
Begin each Prayer with:
– One ‘Our Father’
– One ‘Apostle’s Creed’, and
– Three ‘Hail Mary’s’
FIRST PRAYER: FOR THE SPIRITUAL ANCHORING OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, whose faith was grounded in Christ Jesus at an early age, pray the same for all of the Black community in America, so that together they might be unified in one faith, one Lord, one Baptism, and God. Pray Father Tolton for the Black community to find and to love that same fullness of their faith that you found through the Catholic Church, and that Church would find a deeper fullness of itself in that community. Pray Father Tolton for the Holy Eucharist to become the source and summit of Christian life in the Black community and for that unique Presence of Christ Jesus to work to conform all peoples into His image before God the Father. Amen.
SECOND PRAYER: FOR THE MORAL FORMATION OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, teacher of truth, for the moral formation of the youth in the Black community in America. Pray for their moral grounding in the teachings of Christ our Lord, so that they might be living witnesses of the Beatitudes. Pray Father Tolton for a strengthening and fortification of the Holy Spirit in the Black community so that it might be guided and protected in all Truth, and thereby able withstand all assaults by the Evil One. Amen.
THIRD PRAYER: FOR THE STABILITY AND STRENGTH OF MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Strong families and marriages are the woven threads that have always proved to be most beneficial for all healthy societies. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton that all husbands will love their wives as Christ loved the Church and love their wives as their own bodies. Pray that each wife will embrace her role as a type of Church in the household and embrace her husband and children as members of her body. Pray Father Tolton for the sanctity and dignity of marriages in the Black community in America and to the end of the sexual impurity and promiscuity that has led to far too many fatherless homes. Pray for the restoration of true Christ-like masculinity for Black men, and for women to look upon our Blessed Mother as a beckon of faithfulness and womanhood. Amen.
FOURTH PRAYER: FOR PEACE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, servant of Peace, pray for an end of all forms of violence and for an everlasting peace in the Black community in America. Dear servant of the King of Peace, violence against each other betrays our progress and robs us of our future. Pray then Father Tolton that we all might know Christ Jesus enough so that we will see Him in each other. Pray then O’ Father Tolton that in the pursuit of peace we might go from seeing Jesus in each other, to loving each other through Him, and cooperating with all that grace empowers us to bring the in-dwelling of Christ more fully out of each other. Pray Father Tolton for the reign of Peace throughout the world, and even more especially in communities that are harmed by persistent violence. Amen.
FIFTH PRAYER: FOR GOOD EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
The doors of opportunity in the world are open to all, and are open even more fully to those who have been educated. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, teacher of children, for the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to pour out abundantly over the Black community in America, and that the schools and universities that service these communities will be blessed with the resources, staff, and faculty they need to achieve their goals. Pray for Catholic schools and universities’ fidelity to the teachings of the Church, and that they might open their doors to all, especially to the poor and to the disadvantaged. Amen.
SIXTH PRAYER: FOR GAINFUL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, as we seek your intercession for the spiritual needs of the Black community in America, we also come to you dear servant of God to ask for your prayers for their material needs. Pray Father Tolton for those in the Black community to have good economic opportunities in their community to find gainful employment or to start a business, so that all might have the resources they need to provide for themselves, their family, and their Church. Pray Father Tolton that God might fill in all of us the spirit of a cheerful giver so that we might remember that all that has been given to us we will, in-return, give back. Amen.
SEVENTH PRAYER: FOR THE END OF ABORTION IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Far too much treasure of the Black community in America has been lost through the tragedy of abortion. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, for a quickening of the Holy Spirit in the Black community so that its conscience will be awakened to know that each child conceived belongs to God, and that God has given each child a plan and purpose for its life. Pray for an end of sexual objectification, adultery, and pre marital sex that paves the way to compounded bad decisions. Pray that medical professionals will learn to see and recognize the beauty of all pre-natal children, even those that may be born different than us. Pray Father Tolton for all women and men who have in some way participated in abortions for their forgiveness and healing. Pray for all pregnant women to have all of the help and support that they need to bring their child safely into the world, so that it might have the opportunity to know, love, and serve God in this life and in the next. Amen.
EIGHTH PRAYER: FOR MORE CATHOLIC EVANGELISTS TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, who always sought out new opportunities to reach out to the community, pray O’ faithful servant of God for the Lord to send more faithful evangelists of the Gospel into the Black communities in America. Pray Father Tolton that the Lord might send us more like you to point God’s children to the light and love of Christ Jesus through the lenses of the Catholic Church. And pray Father Tolton that wherever the faithful evangelist might go that he or she will have the courage to speak only what God has given them to say, and that their words will fall upon fertile soil. Amen.
NINTH PRAYER: FOR MORE VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD, DIACONATE, AND CONSECRATED LIFE FROM THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton intercede for us and pray that as the Eternal Father sent you that He will send more from the Black community in America to serve God’s people as Priests, Deacons, and consecrated Religious. Pray Father Tolton for the Church’s cup to overflow with blessings from vocations of men and women responding to their call to serve God’s children in love. Amen.
(Last Revision: 03/27/2013)