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Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at 1711 E. 11th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605 US - Mass In Memoriam of retired Pastor, Fr. Thomas A. Stokes, S.M. Friday, May 10, 7:30 PM

Mass In Memoriam of retired Pastor, Fr. Thomas A. Stokes, S.M.
Friday, May 10, 7:30 PM

 When the honorable celebrants and Chancery staff, visiting clergy and religious, Spanish & English choirs, the handicapped, and Ladies' Guild and Holy Name Society were seated, along with the general congregation, there were still an estimated 350 parishioners and visitors who had come to celebrate the life of Fr. Thomas Anthony Stokes but could not fit into the church.

Due largely to the efforts and foresight of new Pastor Fr. Roland Lajoie, S.M. and staff, this overflow crowd was comfortably seated under a street-wide 80-foot lighted tent with 450 chairs directly outside the Church entrance that had been erected solely for this occasion. And it was well received - for staff & volunteers had erected 2 large video projection screens and a professional public address system that allowed the overlflow congregation to see and hear the services that were conducted inside the church.  From most accounts, they enjoyed, and participated in, the experience - responding verbally and gesturally to the Celebrant throughout the service just as if they had been in direct view of the Altar. Most received communion outside, graciously distributed by our own Fr. Roland Lajoie and Fr. Ray Coolong.

Most likely, no one inside or outside the Church will forget this memorable experience and tribute to Fr. Tom.

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  We are still in shock at the passing of our Most Beloved Fr. Thomas A. Stokes, S.M., especially at the age of 75.  We had expected him to come back and visit this year, as he had planned.  We were his people. For few of us, if any, have ever had a Man of God touch our Souls so truly as only Fr. Tom was able to do. He spoke to us in plain language - the way we talk to each other, every day.  He knew what was in our hearts, and he showed us that we are God's people. He gave us Hope, he gave us Promise, he gave us Wisdom, and he gave us Courage. 

. . . but most of all - he gave us the example that Christ Jesus gave when he became man and descended to earth to teach us, that is - that we are all brothers and sisters in Him, and that we must remember (and live as though) that is the only thing that really matters - by serving each other before ourselves.  And even now, he continues to give us all these things still, for Fr. Tom will live in our Hearts and Prayers, forever.

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.




*******  IMPORTANT LINKS  *******

    

     Click here to see important dates in Fr. Tom's life

     Click here to see image of "Fr. Thomas Stokes Hall" new dedication sign

     Click here to See the obituary from Dublin, Ireland


     Click here to See Bishop Lynch's words about Fr. Stokes' passing

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