LETTER FROM FATHER
It is good to be home! St. Thomas More is a “Home away from Home” for our BGSU students and it is so good to hear their laughter around our parish campus and to see their faces—even if only from the nose up! It is a real blessing to pray together in person at Holy Mass, to enjoy late night conversations around a bonfire, to share a socially-distant meal together at our bi-weekly “Thou Shall Chow” Sunday Night dinners, and to learn and grow in the faith.
This is a homecoming for me as well! Though I only became the pastor here at St. Tom’s on July 1st of this year, I am no stranger to the parish or our cozy college town. I am a 2004 graduate of Bowling Green High School and spent my freshman year of college studying Foreign Language Education here at BGSU before I entered the seminary. Almost daily I made the journey from the Kreischer Quad Residence Hall all the way across campus to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St. Tom’s to spend time in prayer and discern the Lord’s call in my life. After some renovations over the years, what was once that Blessed Sacrament chapel is now the sacristy where the priest and deacon vest for Holy Mass. Each time I enter into that space to prepare to celebrate the Eucharist, I am reminded of God’s amazing providence and the transformation that happens in the lives of our students here at St. Thomas More. It is good to be home!
It is certainly tempting to focus on all of the activities and programs that we’re not able to enjoy this year due to social distancing requirements and virus mitigation guidelines. It’s much more important, however, to realize that God is still at work in our world, in our Church, and in our campus parish! Each Wednesday night as I watch students come to the Church to spend an hour with Jesus in prayer and song before the Blessed Sacrament, I am reminded that God is at work. Each day when I flip on the green light above the confessional and folks are lined up to receive God’s mercy and grace, I am reminded that God is at work. As we gathered with the Bishop to beg God to heal the wounds of racism in our nation, I am reminded that God is at work. As our campus ministry leaders have sought to find times and locations for small groups and bible studies, I am reminded that God is at work. Looking back on 2020, we’ll all have a lot of things to say, I’m sure. But with eyes of faith to see, we’ll also be able to say that God was indeed at work and that 2020, despite it all, was a year of grace for our St. Thomas More Family.
This year, like every year, God is being worshiped, friendships are growing, and lives are being transformed at St. Thomas More University Parish. I’m so very happy to be the pastor of this parish and to count you as my partners in mission! Whether you’re receiving this newsletter as a parent, a benefactor, an alumnus, or a member of our permanent community, I am glad that you are part of our extended St. Tom’s family. I look forward to the day when we can gather together and get to know one another in person. Stay healthy and stay holy!
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Jeff Walker