Tolton: From Slave to Priest, a theatrical one-man drama performed by actor Andrae Goodnight, begins the first of six performances throughout the Springfield diocese on Nov. 7 in Effingham.
The Effingham Performance Center will host the 7 p.m. performance. There is no admission charge; however, a free-will offering will be taken up at all performances.
According to Saint Luke Productions, the new production, based on the life of Quincy priest Father Augustus Tolton, is a “compelling true story of courage, forgiveness, and reconciliation [that] resonates deeply with modern American audiences.” The production runs approximately 90 minutes, and is suitable for middle school age and up.
Actor Goodnight brings his diverse experience to the role of Father Tolton including work in youth ministry, public service, radio and film. He and his wife are converts to the Catholic faith and are the parents of six children. He said his love for Christ and desire for positive social change drew him to the role.
“The story of the first black priest in America touches me in a very personal way,” said Goodnight. “It is a journey inward, and his sanctity beckons me to prayer and my own personal pursuit of holiness.”
Parishes in each deanery are sponsoring the performances and providing a cadre of volunteers to assist the diocesan Office for Pro-Life Activities and Special Ministries in planning and publicity.
The complete schedule of performances is:
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
Effingham, Effingham Performance Center
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.
Jacksonville, Church of Our Saviour
Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.
Decatur, Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Saturday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Springfield, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Nov. 12, 3 p.m.
Quincy, Quincy University Pepsi Arena
Monday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
Granite City, Holy Family Church