Rev. Father Tom Fogarty, SSP Memorial
“The Pauline spirit substantially means possessing the soul, heart and mind of St. Paul. It involves a very intense interior life. It is zeal and generous dedication in the apostolate. It shows practical love toward the Divine Master, the Church, and constant, serene union with God.” (FSP 53, p. 446)
Thomas Fogarty was born on January 20, 1927 in Uibh Faili in County Offaly Ireland. His mother died within the year and he was raised by three devout aunts. One of whom became a nun. After graduating from high-school he eventually obtained a job in the electric industry at Athlone Ireland.
One of his supervisors introduced Thomas to Fr. Simone whom Blessed Alberione had sent to Ireland. In spite of his ill health with asthma, Thomas was accepted into the Society and entered in 1950 at Alba Italy. He soon began to suffer from his asthma but with the encouragement of Blessed Alberione persevered in his studies and was ordained in June of 1957.
He was assigned to Ireland where he served for 16 years working on leaflets and parish bulletins. These met with limited success but paved the way for the Society’s very successful missalette publishing.
He returned to Rome on sabbatical where he studied at the Pontifical University Antonianum.
In 1971 he was in Rome while Blessed Alberione was in his final days. He was seen constantly praying the rosary near Blessed Alberione’s room. He was transferred a short time to Canada and then in 1975 arrived at Canfield where he worked with Fr. Borano on Alba Paperback Books.
In 1979 he was made superior of the Dearborn community with its bookstore and parish exhibit ministries. He spent 1982-1983 in Staten Island on the Alba House editorial staff. He returned to Canfield in 1983, where he was novice master for two years and began his great life work developing the Holy Family Institute in the United States. At that time, there were about 5 members in the Institute and today there are almost 400 nationwide. His love for the members is acknowledged by all. His continuing and effective spiritual direction has become a guiding light for many on their vocational journey. For a brief time in the early 1980s he lead the Institute of the Annunciation, an organization of consecrated lay women and the Institute of Gabriel the Archangel, a group of consecrated lay men.
He died from pulmonary heart failure in the emergency room of St. Elizabeth Hospital, Boardman Ohio at 5:30 pm May 14, 2017. He is sorely missed by all those who benefited from his 60 years of priesthood and Pauline ministry. His Mass of Christian Burial was held on the 20th of May, 2017 in the Society of St. Paul Chapel, Canfield, Ohio.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way. Thomas said to him, Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Jn 14,1)
“So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”
Homily at Fr. Tom Fogarty's funeral Mass given by Fr. Jeff Mickler, SSP