He became a successful hairdresser and was known for offering financial aid to those in needs, as well as care for the sick and orphans.
Servant of God Mother Mary Lange was raised in a French-speaking community in Cuba, but moved to the United States in the early 1800s.
Lange eventually moved to Baltimore, where she became the founder and first superior of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. The community provided African American women a path to religious life in the Church. The sisters taught and cared for African American children.
Venerable Henriette Delille was born in the early 1800s to a white father and mixed-raced mother. Because of the laws against interracial marriage, her parents were in a common-law relationship – a path of financial comfort which they encouraged her to take.
Instead, Delille established the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans. The order taught and offered medical care for those in poverty, especially slaves and poor freed blacks.
Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton fled slavery in the mid-1800s and went on to attend seminary in Rome, because no seminary in the U.S. would accept him. Ordained in 1886, he became the first African-American priest in the United States.
After his ordination, Fr. Tolton began his priestly ministry in Quincy, Illinois and later founded St Monica's Church in Chicago, the city's first black parish.
Xavier University is ranked as the nation's number two Historically Black College and University by College Consensus and is considered to be the only Historically Black Catholic College in the U.S.
The university was founded in 1925 and established the Institute for Black Catholic Studies in 1980. The institute offers training for Catholic ministry within U.S. black Catholic communities.