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.




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