It’s good to see that this role model is being talked about.
"The Rev. Sabrina Penn has made it her mission to uphold the legacy of her “Uncle Gus,” otherwise known as the Rev. Augustus Tolton, the nation’s first known black Roman Catholic priest.
Penn also is determined to show Englewood youth that her birthright belongs to them, too.
Every Sunday morning, Penn goes door to door in the neighborhood, rousing bleary-eyed teenagers from their beds or couches and transporting them to her storefront church, Emmanuel Christ Temple in Beverly. There, over corn chips and fruit punch, the teens share their woes with Penn, seek her advice and study the Bible.
Largely funded out of her own pocket with occasional donations from friends, Penn’s ministry may be considered minor league. But her ancestor was a major-league player in American Catholicism and African-American history.
Earlier this year, Penn published a second edition of “A Place for My Children,” one of only two biographies about Tolton. In the book, Penn tells the stories of Tolton’s ministry and her own spiritual journey. She also plans to publish a children’s book about the priest in November and next summer, will debut a musical play about Tolton at a college in Quincy, Ill., where Tolton first served.
“If you know where you come from in your history, you know how far you can go,” Penn said. “He has given me a foundation in a religious sense that I can stand on.”