Augusta Travitt spent most of her 86 years of life giving to others and helping those in need. She was what many would call the Black Catholic community’s patron saint. She was a woman whose deeds, enthusiasm and charity greatly benefited the city of Milwaukee for many decades.
Travitt was the sacristan for All Saints Parish and April 19th was no exception. She arrived early to set up for the Masses during the week and on weekends. She stayed to prepare for the last Mass of the morning. Every Sunday, she opened the doors at 7:30; her duties included preparing the credence table, lighting candles, and setting out the ciborium with hosts and chalice with wine. Afterwards, she would attend Mass, but Travitt tragically died of natural causes early April 20 in her home. She leaves behind a legacy much larger than she could have ever imagined.
Fr. Diedrichs, pastor for All Saints Parish, said, “It hasn’t really sunk in for me yet, I will miss her – her presence was all encompassing here. She served on the parish council, prayer and worship, was involved in the African World Festival for a Catholic group that planned that Mass each year. She was quite a lady in the larger Catholic community – and one woman that obviously internalized what it meant to be Catholic and not afraid to profess it.”
Though she was loved, she never missed a chance to speak her mind. She scolded the ushers when things were not done up to her high standards. Many people felt resentful towards her, but as they got to know her better, they discovered that she was a very generous person. Even though many people clashed with her, all will miss her dearly.