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.





August 5, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Perhaps August is the most quiet month of the year in terms of Church activity.  Still different parish business continues.  There is a steady flow of families seeking to enroll children for Faith Formation, either for the first grade or to transfer here from another parish.  Families come in to inquire about our parish school.  Young parents come to arrange for baptism.  All the liturgical activities continue and Parish Social Ministry seeks to respond to the needs of people.

This August we are moving forward on our Ministry and Meeting Building project.  On July 31 we made our first submission to the Village of Garden City which we hope will lead in the fall to the necessary building permits.

Our fundraising study has been completed and the results were favorable.  Thank you to all who responded.  Our response percentage was higher than the norm.  Of those who participated about 73% were positive; 2% were negative. 25% offered a “mixed” response and indicated they had questions about the project that needed more response and that additional information and details are needed.  Nearly 20% of those who responded indicated a willingness to volunteer to assist on a fundraising committee.  99% of the respondents rated the reputation of the parish as excellent or good.  In July we also met with neighbors on Dartmouth Street and Fairmount Boulevard.  Changes in our original designs have been made to lessen some of our neighbors’ concerns.

We have come to three important “progress points” in our building project:

1. Plans have progressed to the point they can be submitted for approval;

2. We have begun the permit seeking process;

3. We have established a foundation beginning point for the necessary fundraising.

The progress will continue and I will keep you informed.

I will take some vacation time from mid-August to around Labor Day.  Fr. Valentine and Fr. Johnny will be here throughout the second half of August.  As I will pray for you and the parish, may I ask you for your prayers as we move into the second half of summer and approach the beginning of a new school year.  We are especially mindful of those going away from home to college, particularly those going away to school for the first time.

During my time as your pastor, through this column, through preaching, through meetings, conversations and other interactions, I have always tried to be honest with you.  I feel that need at the present time.

Along with many parishioners, I have followed the very sad news of the accusations made against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  The accusation and questions surrounding this sad saga disturb me greatly and distract me daily because I am a priest and because of personal experience.  I have known victims of sexual abuse and its harm is usually so hurtful and destructive that consequences last a lifetime and regularly diminish the joy of those who have suffered this depravity of others. 

Reports and statements about this particular story are published daily.  Today, August 1, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement in his leadership role of the USCCB.  Cardinal DiNardo’s statement expresses some of my own feeling and expresses some of my questions.  I share with you the first two paragraphs of his statement.  His statement assures me my own feelings and questions are not mine alone.  His entire statement can be found at the USCCB website.  The first two paragraphs: “The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church.  They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me.  They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.  Both the abusers themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moral failures of judgment on the part of Church leaders.

“These failures raise serious questions.  Why weren’t these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials?  Why wasn’t this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice?  What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power?”

I appreciate Cardinal DiNardo’s public expression of his own feelings and his raising important questions.  I encourage you to view his entire statement at the USCCB website.


Our gospel today continues the focus on the Eucharist, following last week’s gospel story of miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish.  Today’s gospel conclusion begins with the crowd’s prayer: “Sir, give us this bread always.”  I am not certain they intended this statement as a prayer, but I hear it as a prayer, and a beautiful prayer it is, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  You may remember a few years back, this prayer adorned the front face of the Church above the doors.  It was printed on blue canvas.

This prayer is an expression of the yearning for Eucharist.  Over my years as a priest, I have heard people express to me very dramatically their need and desire for Jesus in the Eucharist.  It is a beautiful desire that needs to be nurtured.  It is very sad when a person loses desire for the Eucharist, though we know it has happened to many persons.  Your presence here today is a sign of your desire for the Eucharist.  It is a grace in your life.

Peace be to you.

Fr. Tom

(Bishop Barres highly recommends FORMED series on the Eucharist entitled Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist.  On page 6 of the bulletin, you will find information on how to access FORMED.)



























































































































































































































































































































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.