Nearly a century and a half after Augustus Tolton escaped slavery in Missouri and became the nation’s first black Roman Catholic priest on record, he will be considered for sainthood. A commission will assess the reverend’s "heroic virtues" and present his case to the Vatican, upon which he could become St. Augustus. After being ordained in Rome because no American seminary would admit him, Tolton returned to Quincy, Illinois, where he preached to an integrated congregation. He eventually moved to Chicago to start a mission for African Americans in the basement of another parish. That eventually became the city’s first black parish. "To think that every seminary in the U.S. was closed to him… but that did not stand in the way of him being able to fulfill his call," said Vanessa White, director of the Tolton Center for African-American Catholics at Catholic Theological Union.