35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
How Do I?

Fr. Tom’s Letters


Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the life of the parish.





September 23, 2018

Dear Parishioners

,Last weekend we had a wonderful Spirit Day!   As I have communicated previously, Spirit Day had a special importance this year.  We have concluded a summer that revealed very disturbing details about the abuse scandal in the Church.  There has been a sense of failed leadership and a loss of confidence.  I share the anger, dismay, and frustration about which so many faithful Catholics have spoken.

Spirit Day was a clear expression of the vitality and vibrancy of St. Anne’s Parish.  I estimate close to 200 parish volunteers participated in some way, an unmistakable statement about parishioner love for St. Anne’s and their willingness to be generous with their time.  Nearly 1000 parishioners supported the Big Bucks Raffle and parishioners made sure that each ticket was sold, many by purchasing multiple tickets.  Parishioner generosity with this raffle makes the parish one of the big winners as we realize a $50,000 contribution to the parish through Big Bucks purchases.  Thank you for your generosity in this annual event.

At one point during Mass, it was estimated that 1200 people were in the parking lot.  The large crowd at Mass and this coming together for our celebration of faith, many cited as their highlight of Spirit Day.

Fun for people of all ages through the day is a hallmark of Spirit Day.  From the morning Respite games to the last call at Night of the Races, people are engaged in all sorts of fun ways in various activities.  Kids loved the rides and the gold fish; older students enjoyed the magician and simply hanging out together; young parents strolled through the lot meeting other young families; long time parishioners gathered at the food tables and beverage truck catching up with one another.  People involved in the very first Spirit Day welcome all the new leadership and volunteers of the day.

Spirit Day is a great day that reminds us of the strength of our parish community at a time when we need that kind of reminder.  My gratitude to everyone who organized, volunteered, and participated to make Spirit Day another great success.


On Monday evening October 1, I will host an evening for conversation about our Church and our parish.  The evening will be one for comments, observation, and questions regarding all that we have been experiencing as Catholics and St. Anne’s parishioners these past few months.  Many people might wish to share an observation about the abuse scandal that has saddened and angered many of us.  Some persons might want to ask questions about our plans for our new parish ministry and meeting building.  We have started a new school and are beginning a new Faith Formation year.  Persons may have questions regarding these and other parish ministries.

I believe that these recent events underscore the need for conversation in our Church.  I believe we would all benefit from increased sharing between pastors and parishioners.  In the two parishes where I have been pastor I have often considered this kind of conversation.  I hope for open, fair, honest, and peaceful conversation during these evenings.  Please join us if you can on Monday evening, October 1 at 7:30PM in the church which is accessible to all.


I think that the conclusion of this gospel offers a very important reminder.  Four times in the final sentence, Jesus uses the word “receive.”  He uses this word in the context of his presenting a little child to his listeners.  The gospel concludes, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.”  I think the repetition of the word “receive” suggests our attention.

Our faith and the gospel emphasize the virtue of generosity.  And we are blessed with many generous people in our lives.  Thank God for the extraordinary generosity of our parishioners.  Such generosity allows our parish to do all the things we do.  We experience a similar kind of generosity in family life.  Parents are always giving.  Family members and relatives often help those they love who are in need.  Families rally to help a member who is in need.

Side by side with the virtue of generosity is the virtue of being able to receive.  No human person is totally self-sufficient.  We are all dependent on God.  One former parishioner I knew, who is now in heaven, used to speak of his dependence on God for his next breath of air.

I believe Jesus teaches about the ability to receive through children.  From their opening moments of life children are receiving.  And they are totally open to receiving what their parents choose to give them in their love.  In a child, that openness is so closely related to their receiving.

Jesus wants his listeners never to lose that openness so that they are always able to receive what God seeks to give.  God wants to give us so much.  What is required of us is our openness to receive those gifts.  We need to be truly open, not to be deceived by any thought that we have it all.

This Christian sense of openness to receiving is not to be confused with taking.  Openness to receiving puts all of one’s trust in the goodness and love of what God seeks to give.  Taking makes the taker the master of what is taken.  Taking and receiving are very different.

Have a blessed week!

Fr. Tom










































































































































































































































































































































The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.