St Bonaface Church

Adams County

117 N 7th | Quincy, IL

  • Magnificent terrazzo floors & stone walls / 160-ft steel steeple.
  • Designed in 1962 by architect John Benya
  • On the Most 150 Significant Structures in IL list
  • 160 ft steeple shell with stainless steel interior
  • Mass site of Father Tolton, first Black priest in US
  • Potawatomie Trail of Death marker
  • Mass site attended by the Potawatomi Indians in 1838.

Built on the site where Augustine Tolton’s first Solemn High Mass occurred in Quincy upon his return as America’s first African-American Priest.

Here’s a little history from 1873 to 1886. When no other seminary in the US would accept Augustine because of his race, several Quincy priests outlined a study plan for him. In 1878 St. Francis College (now Quincy University) enrolled Augustine.  Augustine proceeded on as a seminarian to the Propaganda in Rome and was ordained at St. John Lateran Basilica. There is a plaque on the south side of the church building.

1st Mass: Augustine returned to Quincy as a missionary and celebrated his first Solemn High Mass in the community at St. Boniface in 1886.

1962 / MID-CENTURY MODERN / JOHN BENYA architect

 

Admission

Donations Appreciated
Abundant Architecture

See the city with over 3,600 structures contributing to the National Register of Historic Places {self-guided driving + walking tour}

Mid Mod Quincy

Self-guided driving tour of 30 premier examples of mid-century modern architecture + original art card for you!

Maine Street Mile

NEW 60-minute tour of Quincy’s most notable thoroughfare {self-guided driving/walking tour}

Gateway City Guide

NEW 20-point driving tour reflecting on Quincy’s first three decades including Underground Railroad history.

Drive the 5 Tolton Sites

Easy & educational snapshot of the first African-American priest in the U.S. {self-guided driving tour}