At their fifth annual gala on April 28, the Midwest Augustinians will honor Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A.. As many of you know, Fr. Tom is a member of the St. Rita Class of ’83; he returned as chaplain of St. Rita from 1994 to 2000, and then served as President from 2000 to 2012.
The Augustinians invite the alumni of St. Rita to join them in thanking Fr. Tom for all of his extraordinary service to the Chicago area. Please consider taking out a congratulatory ad in the gala program book, or make a tributary donation to Fr. Tom to have your name listed in the program as well! You could further express your support by joining us for this celebratory evening, Friday April 28, 6:30-10:00 PM, at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago.
For more information, please visit AugustinianGala.org or call 773-595-4008.
Profile of Fr. Tom’s Service
For his work in the last eight years as Director of Augustinian Vocations alone, Father Tom McCarthy, O.S.A., deserves to be honored at this year’s gala. When you add to this his tenure as President of St. Rita of Cascia High School and his direction of numerous life-changing parish retreats, we become immeasurably indebted, as a family and community, to his selfless service.
Let us consider the numbers: The Order of St. Augustine, in North America, currently has 40 men in formation, with 11 friars newly professed in 2016. For those of you who have been supporters of the Augustinians, you can understand what a dramatic shift this represents from only five years ago. Each year that Fr. Tom has served as Director of Vocations, the number of men in formation has increased.
As a graduate of St. Rita of Cascia High School, class of 1983, Fr. Tom encountered the strength of community in the Augustinian Brotherhood at a formidable moment in his life. While working at the monastery answering phones to help pay his own tuition, Fr. Tom was able to witness the personal side of the friars who ran his school: “I saw the way they lived their life. I saw the way they prayed and the way they had fun, and it attracted me, saying this is what I want.”
After St. Rita, Fr. Tom went on to Villanova University, where he earned his B.A. in Communication Arts in 1987. While there, he entered the pre-novitiate formation program, and he made his first profession of vows in 1988. Five years later he made his solemn profession, and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He earned his M. Div. from Catholic Theological Union in 1993 and his M.A. in Education Administration from Lewis University.
Following his time at St. Rita High School, Fr. Tom assumed his current position his current position as full-time Director of Vocations for Eastern and Midwest Provinces. While he resides at Villanova, he makes frequent trips back to St. Rita of Cascia High School, where he still serves as the Director of the Shrine of St. Rita.
Fr. Tom continues in the role to lead renowned parish retreats and is known within the Order as one of the most passionate and effective speakers at missions appeals. Both of these accolades have been made possible only through Fr. Tom’s great dedication to his mission, as he continually seeks counsel to become better at his vocation. It is with great joy that we thank Fr. Tom at this year’s gala. Please join us in celebration of the unofficial “Mayor of the Southside!”