#ShortNews: Runaway slave-turned-priest moves closer to beatification

Born in Missouri on April 1, 1854, John Augustine Tolton fled slavery with his mother and two siblings in 1862 by crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. “John, boy, you’re free. Never forget the goodness of the Lord,” Tolton’s mother told him after the crossing, according to the website of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Chicago.

The young Tolton entered St. Peter’s Catholic School with the help of the school’s pastor, Fr. Peter McGirr. Fr. McGirr would later baptize him and instruct him for his first Holy Communion. Tolton was serving as an altar boy by the next summer.

Fr. Tolton served in Quincy before going to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. The new church was named for St. Monica and opened in 1893. On April 24, 1886 he was ordained in Rome by Cardinal Lucido Maria Parocchi, who was then the vicar general of Rome. Newspapers throughout the U.S. carried the story.

On July 9, 1897, Fr. Tolton collapsed during a hot day and died from sunstroke at the age of 43. His cause for canonization was officially launched in 2010, and he was given the title “Servant of God” by the Vatican in February 2011. The research phase of his cause concluded on September 29, 2014.

Read More: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/runaway-slave-turned-priest-moves-closer-to-beatification-20694

#ShortNews: ‘Find your own Calcutta’

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Saturday urged Ave Maria University graduates to “embrace the mess” — a fitting message, given the controversy over her appearance at the commencement ceremony.

At Ave Maria, she encouraged students to stay prepared for whatever life throws at them. “I encourage you to embrace the mess,” DeVos said. “Know that your life won’t always unfold according to plan. Anticipate being called to something different, to something unexpected. Be not afraid! Don’t avoid a change in course, an alternate path. Don’t fear the unknown; step out with faith onto those stormy waters!”

Read DeVos’s letter to her students: http://time.com/5266806/betsey-devos-ave-maria-transcript/

#ShortNews: Ancient Christian ruins discovered under former ISIS-held territory

For more than two years, ISIS forces who occupied this northern Syrian city paid little attention to the tip of an old gate on an empty mound of land where they dumped trash.

They were clueless the gate ran several feet into the ground down to something they might well have destroyed had they known: The ruins of an ancient Christian refuge, or early church, possibly dating back to the first centuries of Christendom’s existence, under the Roman Empire.

The ancient space is carved out with narrow tunnels, complete with grooved shelves to offer light, which were believed to offer passage for worshippers. There are myriad escape routes in the tunnels as well, featuring large stones that may have served as hidden doors. Also visible are three jagged steps leading up to what Sheko believes was an altar of sorts.

Read more and see the pictures of the ruins: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/01/ancient-christian-ruins-discovered-under-former-isis-held-territory.html