Thomas Jennings

Date of Ordination: June 11, 2005
Current Assignment: Sacred Heart Parish, Camden

After high school, I drifted away from the Church for many years. After a series of personal tragedies, I decided to return to confession one afternoon. It was at St. Agnes Church in Blackwood that I entered and started out “Bless me Father, for I have sinned, I don’t even know who was President when I last went to confession”. Msgr. Barth laughed and told me, “I have been praying for you all day. Today is the feast of St. Agnes, and I prayed for someone to return to the Church today”.

A few months later I attended my brother-in-law’s funeral Mass. My sister was assigning people to help at the Mass. She asked, ‘you’re a Eucharistic Minister, aren’t you?” I wasn’t. I later felt like Peter, saying “No I don’t know the man”. Two weeks later my pastor at the time, asked for people who wanted to apply to be Extraordinary Ministers. I signed up! I was starting to see a pattern.

A few years after that, my current pastor, Fr. Gerard, was visiting my parish, and he asked me to lead prayer before Mass for the lectors, altar servers and Extra Ordinary Ministers. When I finished he said, ‘you are Deacon material”.

The next week the call went out for interested men to apply for the Diaconate. I guess the whisper “in the quiet breeze” had become gale force winds.