Father Tom Long | St. Raphael the Archangel, Oshkosh, WI
Submitted by: Sharon Oberkrieser
Early on in the shutdown, Father Tom and our Associate Pastor took to the streets of Oshkosh, bringing Jesus to neighborhoods in the Blessed Sacrament. They logged many miles over the course of several weeks, blessing neighborhoods, households, and individuals who awaited their arrival. (Their daily route/itinerary was provided on the parish Facebook page.) I have no doubt that their presence touched all who witnessed this sight as it did me. Additionally, a weekly personal message from Father Tom was recorded and available on social media. Like many other parishes, the Triduum and Sunday Masses were (and continue to be) live-streamed. Father Tom also saw to it (with much help of course) that every parishioner was called to pray with and check for any needs. He also made certain that everyone was kept up to date with guidelines and developments. As soon as our diocese gave approval, he offered our parishioners the opportunity to come to church to receive communion. And as soon as in-person attendance was allowed Father Tom and the staff went above and beyond the recommended guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. We are blessed to have him for our pastor.
Father Tom lives the Gospel he preaches. He shows us Jesus by his servant leadership style. He is very prayerful and delivers meaningful homilies that challenge me to be a more faithful disciple. Father Tom cares deeply for us sheep!
I believe Father Tom Long deserves recognition for all the ways he has shown us his love for his community and his love of being a priest.; and simply because he would not want any special recognition! I think his primary goal is to lead us into a deep(er) relationship with Jesus.
It is lovely that you are recognizing these servants of God!