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Bishop ‘touched emotionally’ by film on Fr Tolton’s boyhood, family

Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry, postulator of Fr Augustus Tolton’s sainthood cause, said he was “touched emotionally” by the portrayal of the African-American priest’s boyhood and family life in the new short film Across.

“It is the first attempt about a film on his life, and it validated everything I have come to know about him, from the research phase that we took on while composing the official dossier that we sent to Rome,” said Bishop Perry.

So just how moved was Bishop Perry upon seeing Across?

“A couple of times I had to hold back tears as my eyes were watering up, and I look forward to the next chapters of the film that will entail Fr Tolton’s life in his adolescence, adulthood, priesthood, and death,” he told Catholic News Service.

The bishop made the comments while he was in Nashville recently to attend a private screening of Across at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia during Black History Month, observed in February.

Nashville filmmaker Chris Foley wrote and directed the short film about the Tolton family’s escape from slavery in Missouri into Illinois.

Picture: Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry, postulator for the sainthood cause of Fr Augustus Tolton, speaks at the Dominicans’ motherhouse in Nashville, Tenn., on 10th February 2019. The motherhouse hosted a screening of the short film Across, which chronicles Fr Tolton’s early life. (CNS photo/courtesy the Dominican Sisters of Nashville).