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Former slave turned priest, posthumous honored at Brooklyn Bridge Park

The theme for 400 years contribute to a spirit that helps to make us one & provide for enduring peace - Chrisophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, August 17, 2019 / -- Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Don Victor Mooney, President of the HR 1242 Resilience Project, will join with labor leaders, school principals, law enforcement officials, community advocates, and United Nations ambassadors for an event at Pebble Beach commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia.

Reverend Augustus Tolton, the first openly African-American Catholic priest being considered for possible canonization by Pope Francis is posthumous honored today. "The theme chosen for this 400 anniversary: Resilience, Faith, Healing and Partnership contribute to a spirit that helps to make us one and provide for enduring peace, said His Excellency, Chrisophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States".

On behalf of Diocese of Springfield, Most Reverend Thomas John Parocki has sent Father Daren Zehnle to mark this historic event. Father Daren is a native of Quincy, Illinois with a devotion to Father Tolton. Tolton delivered his first mass at St. Benedict the Moor, a largely black church in New York City, before returning to his hometown of Quincy as pastor at the mainly black St. Joseph Church.

The event, made possible in part through recently passed federal legislation HR 1242, the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act, will also honor Lieutenant Michael Healy, the first African-American commissioned in the Revenue Service, now known as the United States Coast Guard. With an abundance for safety, the commemorative Lt. Healy Swim was postponed for a later date by HR 1242 Resilience Project.

An awards ceremony on Pebble Beach will recognize the contributions of African-Americans to New York and the country, along with an interfaith candlelight vigil in honor of Africans and African-Americans that worked on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, farmlands in the New York City five boroughs, Upstate New York and on Long Island, and estates, storage centers, and those who sought freedom aboard ships arriving in Brooklyn, along with the abolitionist and Native Americans that took bold steps to help the enslaved.

Pebble Beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 – 4:00 PM*

*Please note: BP Adams, Mr. Mooney, and other officials will deliver remarks and present awards on Pebble Beach starting at 4:00 PM

On the net:

Lisa Samuels
GC Media for H.R. 1242 Resilience Project
+1 347-674-3238
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