Next weekend, May 20-21, is Catholic Ministries Appeal Sunday here at St. Thomas. We will have speakers at our Masses and envelopes will be available for you to make a pledge to the Appeal.  Thank you for your prayerful consideration of how you can participate.  Below are the biographies of the speakers who will share their stories with us:

Ethel Simmons is a  lifelong resident of Baldwin, mother of 2, grandmother of six and one great grandson. Ethel is actively involved in her Parish of St. Christopher's in Baldwin.  She calls it her “second home."  She has served as Chair of the Catholic Ministries Appeal for over 8 yrs, is a member of her Parish Finance committee, a Lector, EMHC, Secretary of Rosary Altar Society. Companion Ministry of Consolation, Liturgy committee, Charter member D. J. Bradley Columbiettes, Stewardship committee and co chaired St. Chris' 100th Anniversary committee, a year-long celebration of activities.

Ethel is also a Former member of the Parish Council and recipient of the St. Agnes service medal (2012). Parish life keeps her busy but Ethel still finds time to be involved in her community serving as a Past President of the Baldwin/RVC Rotary club, and member of the Board of Directors, volunteer at South Nassau Communities Hospital, PP of Auxiliary and Board member of the Oceanside Counseling Center.

John Gatto John Gatto, a parishioner from St. Matthew Church in Dix Hills since 1969, is personally familiar with several programs that directly benefit from the Catholic Ministries Appeal.  A former volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Hospice volunteer and religious education teacher, Gatto has spoken at dozens of churches across Long Island on behalf of the appeal.

The Brooklyn native, who is also a former Marine and veteran of WWII, is candid about the need for sacrificial giving to the appeal.  “My main concern is the people who need help,” Gatto says, noting the appeal’s support of programs that touch thousands of people, including developmentally disabled adults, senior citizens, men studying to be priests, and children who receive religious education and prepare for the sacraments in our parishes.


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