Bishop Thomas J. Tobin - Without a Doubt
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When I was named a bishop seventeen years ago, one of my seminary classmates called to offer his congratulations and prayerful support. He added, though, “Frankly, Tom, when I heard that one of our classmates was named a bishop, yours wasn’t the first name that came to mind.” more

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy) more
If I were to nominate the most intense professional sport in Rhode Island, it wouldn’t be baseball, basketball, hockey or football. Without a doubt it’d be politics, and in case you’ve missed it, the new season is underway. more
And so it begins – the Year of Evangelization in the Diocese of Providence. It is, I’m convinced, one of most important programs in the recent history of the Diocese. It’s an initiative filled with enormous potential, but one that requires all of us working together with personal dedication, enthusiasm and joy. more
I recently received a copy of Arrowsmith, the outstanding magazine published by St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Mass. Arrowsmith is, without a doubt, one of the fine scholastic publications in the country – the layout is perfect, the stories are timely, the writing is of Pulitzer Prize caliber, and the photos . . . well, the photos are simply stunning. more
This fall marks a mini-milestone in my life in the Church, for it was forty years ago that I left my home in Pittsburgh, hopped on a boat and traveled to Rome to begin my major seminary experience. I’ve been reflecting on that experience a lot recently, and I’ve also been thinking about how much seminary life has changed in the last forty years. more
I was greeting people following a parish event, recently, when an elderly lady accosted me and said, rather abruptly, “You’ve got to change your ideas on immigration.” Having been caught off guard a little, I responded, simply, “That’s not going to happen, ma’am, but hope you have a good day.” more
Summer always affords me more time for reading, and one of the books I read this year was “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church,” the memoirs of Archbishop Rembert Weakland. You may be familiar with Archbishop Weakland – a Benedictine priest, former archabbot of St.Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA, abbot primate of the worldwide Benedictine Order, and, most famously, Archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977-2002. more
Webster defines hope as, “a desire accompanied by expectation of, or belief in fulfillment.” In a far more profound expression, the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” teaches that “hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.” (#1817) more
During vacation this summer I followed my normal practice of attending Sunday Mass as a “private citizen,” that is, in secular attire, with the congregation, in the pews. Even though I truly cherish the privilege of leading the liturgy as I do almost every Sunday, it’s also refreshing once in awhile to be on the other side of the altar. more
Marriage is like a beautiful gilded bird cage. All the Little birds on the outside want to get in, while all the Little birds on the inside want to get out! more
“Well, it’s the Fourth of July; summer’s almost over,” my mom proclaimed each year as the nation’s birthday approached. more
As I survey the horizon and see summer approaching, it seems an appropriate time to offer a few random thoughts on a variety of topics. more
Question: What’s the difference between Confirmation and professional basketball and hockey? Answer: The Confirmation season doesn’t last forever! more
This time of the year sees thousands of young people in Rhode Island participating in a very important, time-honored ritual – marching across stages and platforms, in the presence of family and friends, to pick-up diplomas and degrees, thus graduating from high school or college. more
A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of participating in the Annual Interfaith Holocaust Memorial Observance at Temple Shalom in Middleton, Rhode Island. I had been invited to the service by Rabbi Marc Jagolinzer of Temple Shalom. more
That’s a headline we haven’t seen yet, dear readers, but probably will in the next couple of years. And, make no mistake about it – that’s exactly what the headline will say as the story makes its way around the state and across the nation. more
Easter is upon us, a joyful, hopeful and blessed day for all the followers of Christ. more
Jesus wasn’t always nice. I had to remember that in responding to some letters I received from readers who were disappointed by my recent article, My Interview with President Obama. Some folks didn’t like the rhetorical device I employed, namely the fictional interview I composed. Others felt that I was too hard on the President when I criticized him for using tax dollars to fund abortion overseas. They said that I was not being charitable as Jesus would have been. more
In doing some research for another project I’m working on, I came across an internet article that explained a belief and practice that’s been around for awhile but is, apparently, growing in popularity. The belief is that St. Joseph can help you sell real estate; the practice is to bury a statue of St. Joseph on the property you want to sell. more
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