Page 5, 29th July 1949

29th July 1949
Page 5
Page 5, 29th July 1949 — Brooklyn's First Negro Priest

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Locations: NEW YORK


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Brooklyn's First Negro Priest


Fr. William J. Rodgers has been ordained by Mgr. Thomas E. Molloy, Bishop of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Diocese. The first member of St. Peter Claver's parish to be ordained, Fr. Rodgers is also the first Negroto be ordained for the Brooklyn Diocese.

Preaching at the first Mass, Mgr. Raymond Campion observed that " Fr. Rodgers is but the most recent of a long line of American Negro priests, despite the fact he is the first of our Diocese,

" Early in the 1860s. when the country was torn asunder over the question of Negroes' civil, rights." continued Mgr. Campion, " Fr. Tolton, a Negro priest, was working humbly and quietly among his people, bringing to them the Gospel and message of Christ.

'The only restriction upon Negro youth becoming a priest is: ' Is he worthy to become a. priest of God? ' . . . And this question," said Mgr. Campion, " is asked by the Church of all aspirants. whether they be white or Negro. Race and nationality have nothing to do with it."

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