We love birthdays. Interestingly, tomorrow is Father Tom’s birthday. Yes, Father Thomas Scecina was born on September 16, 1910. In only 34 short years before his untimely death in October 1944 in service to God and country, he welcomed people and transformed the world (words in our school vision statement).
As our Church teaches in its official documents, a truly Catholic school has certain hallmarks. One, it fosters true belief in its students and community that people have an eternal destiny—life with God forever. A truly Catholic school believes and teaches that Jesus is the model person. A truly Catholic school is marked by teamwork, cooperation, and respect. Finally, a truly Catholic school lives the Gospel on top of knowing its stories and lessons.
How fortunate we are to have Father Thomas Scecina as our namesake and an inspiration. He lived as a truly Catholic school would inspire him to live—and to die.
It is nearly unfathomable to me to envision dying a sure and certain death over a few hours while freely and consciously responding to the most intense needs and hopes of people in my midst. Yet that is what Father Tom did on the last day of his life. As a result, thousands of people worldwide and across many generations are inspired by him.
This evening and Saturday, the first graduating class of Scecina, the Class of 1957, will celebrate their 60th year reunion. More than half the living class members will attend. Their reunion coinciding with Father Tom’s birthday is a beautiful combination, for they with him forged the trail that we are now walking.
Today or this weekend, lending a helping hand or performing an act of kindness in our homes or communities would be a wonderful birthday present to Father Tom. Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Thank you, Father Tom, for being the great gift to us that you are every day of the year.