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 faith life of our Parish.





September 24, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Thank you for all your strong support and wonderful participation in last Saturday’s Spirit Day.  We enjoyed a great day of parish community spirit.  Spirit Day bears similarities to other days.  In a way, it’s like Christmas because it takes a lot of planning and preparation.  It’s a little bit like a family wedding day because on the Sunday after Spirit Day, many of us who shared leadership for the day feel totally exhausted.  I refer to it as Spirit Day hangover, overload, or withdrawal.  I’m not sure which it is but my legs ache for about three days.  And it is a great day for many reasons.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because it truly is the effort and leadership of parishioners that make it work.  Lay leadership is something that has been encouraged in the Church these past 50 years.  Leadership of women and men of the parish drives the day from the planning in the spring until the drawing of the $25,000 winner and the cleanup that follows.  The parishioners who first started Spirit Day 15 years ago with Fr. John Gilmartin continue to provide leadership and their experience and expertise.  This year they were joined by some very generous parishioners who brought their own enthusiasm and gifts to the day.  The experienced leadership and the new leadership combined to bring great excitement to the day.  Thank you to those who worked so well together and provided such great leadership for this annual event.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because of all the parish volunteers.  Again, many new volunteers joined the effort.  The volunteers in the blue shirts provided strong security and worked all the ticket tables and other set ups and arrangements.  Volunteers do so much for St. Anne’s in all our ministries.  That so many come together for this unique effort on a single day is a sign of the generous volunteer effort we experience all through the year.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because people have a lot of fun.  People enjoy the friendship, the sharing time with friends, the standing in small groups, enjoying a beverage, shopping at the craft fairs, the anticipation of winning a cash prize and all the fun things that happen when more than 2000 people come together during the course of a single day.  It’s clear though the kids have the most fun.  Whether it’s winning a gold fish, being dunked in water, an inflatable ride, or claiming a winning ticket on a horse, the kids are thrilled.  Many young parents speak of how their children love Spirit Day.  Each year the crowd seems to get younger and it’s a very good sign for our parish and its appeal to the young families.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because the homily is shorter than usual.  We wondered if there would be an outdoor Mass and homily because of the rain on Saturday afternoon.  But by the end of the opening song, the clouds parted, the sun was peeking, the homily was short and we concluded with “God Bless America.” 

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because people are so generous with their financial support.  Big Bucks tickets were sold out by 6:45PM.  Vendors, food services, and the rides all contributed to the net profit of Spirit Day, when combined with Big Bucks, will be around $65,000.  Our sponsor boards indicate the loyalty and support of many neighborhood businesses and organizations.  Our Knights of Columbus not only host the beverage truck, they donate all the proceeds.  With Spirit Day contributions we are scheduled to paint the church and re-furbish the bathroom in the coming months.  Thanks to Spirit Day generosity in all its forms we will use those funds to cover all the work.  Please support those on our sponsor boards.  Thank you for your generosity.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because of our excellent parish staff.  Our parish staff works beautifully with all the volunteers.  Our business manager, our maintenance team, and ministry leaders work as one team with the volunteers.  It is a blessing for a pastor to be able to work with such good people.  Thank you.

Spirit Day is a wonderful day because it captures its name.  This past Saturday was a day filled with spirit and guided by the Spirit.  The Spirit toyed with us with a rain shower, but we trusted in the Spirit and all went well.  Thank you Holy Spirit and all St. Anne’s Parish.

Tuesday, I will be leaving for a pilgrimage.  The highlights of the pilgrimage will be time in Fatima and Lourdes.  These are special places in our faith tradition where Mary appeared to young persons.  They have become revered places of prayer and devotion.  As I travel to Fatima and Lourdes, I will bring with me many prayers and intentions for our parish.  I will remember and seek Mary’s intercession for those many people in serious illness who ask us to pray for them.  I will pray and reflect on how we are called to be a parish of “Dramatic Missionary Growth” as we have been asked to be by Bishop John Barres.  I will pray and reflect about my own vocation as pastor at St. Anne’s and what are those challenges before us as I begin my second term as your pastor.  We will share much about these challenges when I return from this pilgrimage.  I love the priesthood and I love St. Anne’s.  It is my hope that this pilgrimage to these special places of our faith tradition will bring me wisdom, grace, and renewed commitment to the faith and parish life that together we share.

This will be my first pilgrimage since one to Rome in 1975 when I was a young Marianist brother.  I am not a great traveler.  As I will be mindful of the parish and pray for you during this pilgrimage, may I ask the same of you.

Peace to you in Christ, 

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.