University News

WIU to Host "From Slave to Priest" Live Performance Sept. 12

September 11, 2023

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University will host the live theatrical one-man drama "Tolton, From Slave to Priest," performed by Jim Coleman at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 at WIU Sandburg Theatre on the Macomb campus. The performance is open free to the public and suitable for ages 10 and above.

"It's a story worth seeing as it helps people see Catholic religion from other people's perspectives, raises awareness of how certain classifications affect perceptions, and prepares us to live and work in a religiously diverse society," Sociology and Anthropology Assistant Professor Beate Wilson said.

From Slave to Priest is an account of the first Black priest in the United States, Augustin Tolton and his journey against all odds to attain his goal to be a Catholic priest. While the Civil War ended slavery, the struggle for racial equality would take a lot of commitment and time through prejudice to accomplish.

The performance is sponsored by Assumptions-Selling Catholic Christian Books.

For more information on St. Francis of Assisi Newman Center, call (309) 837-3989. For more information on WIU's Musical Theatre program, visit

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