Most people are happy to see this year end but to those of us who have been at St. Thomas Aquinas for several years the close of 2020 is bittersweet.
On January 1, our staff will be without seven women: Cindy Caughman, Donna Columbus, Pat Grissom, Rebecca Hartman, Cindy McFadden, Anne Renkes, and Terry Zobel, four of whom were laid off this fall as part of a reduction in staff and all of whom worked in Faith Formation.
Together these women have served the parish community for a sum of more than 120 years. Can you say WOW? So, for a total of more than a century, Cindy, Donna, Pat, Rebecca, Cindy, Anne, and Terry have offered the finest moments in their lives to teach, to inspire, to motivate, to guide and to minister to children, adults, and families seeking to know God.
Their staying power speaks volumes. Church work is not easy. We are part of an imperfect body, a human community who, more often than not, finds itself in need of redemption. Yet, these women kept returning to toil and task, not for fame, and certainly not for fortune, but out of love. Their love for God, for their work, and for you, the members of this parish family carried them in times of chaos, calamity, and confusion. They deserve a debt of gratitude.
Pope St. Paul VI said, “The world no longer listens to teachers, it listens to witnesses, and if it does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” On this Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, let us give thanks to God for these witnesses who will forever be part of our parish family.