These past two weeks have been an exciting time as I celebrate my 50th anniversary of Ordination. So many people have been so kind with cards, prayers, well-wishes and gifts that

have helped me mark the occasion. I remember lying prostrate with twelve classmates on the cold marble floor of the magnificent Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia

on the beautiful Saturday morning in May, and rising and being anointed a priest by my beloved Archbishop, the late John Cardinal Król. The memory of that day is still so clear and vivid (that I have relived it many times over these years) as if the event had occurred last week. What an amazing gift of God to fulfill his call and be raised up to be one of the shepherds of his flock! I hope there will be some young men from this parish who will one day follow in this service.

It was a privilege on Sunday, May 16th of this year, to celebrate several commemorative Masses with two of my classmates and many other priests. Though we were 13 in number back then, we now are seven surviving members, the others having been called to the Lord. I am the last active pastor in the class that once included 24 ordained priests from a combined 3 dioceses.

But soon enough (August 31), I’ll step down from this role and take on a different aspect in priestly ministry, keeping busy, but without any official assignment and major responsibilities.

The “buck” will no longer “stop here.”

In the meantime, I want to share some of the memories of my celebration with you, and ask you to pray for me as I enter into “uncharted waters” in life. You can rest assured that I will not forget you and will keep you in my daily prayers while cherishing the memories accumulated in the fifteen and one-half years of service at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish as your Pastor. May God bless you and your loved ones!   Msgr. Tom