Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Fr. Tom Triggs last week. Losing a fellow priest is never an easy thing
and within the Diocese of Trenton, there is a pretty close fraternity among us. Unfortunately, my path and Fr.
Tom’s never really crossed; he was not in ministry by the time I was ordained. But his passing is still a sad
occasion for me.
Part of what makes his journey home to the Lord difficult for me is the unique connection we do share in the
history of St. Charles. When you go down the hallway from the church to the school, you notice the past pastors.
To be honest, there aren’t that many and with Fr. Tom’s death, the number of those still alive is even smaller.
All priests use their parish assignments as common ground in talking to each other and building community. To
have lost a voice of someone who knew this particular parish and all the wonderful people within it is difficult.
It’s a loss for me and my brother priests throughout the diocese.
Conversely, just as priests use their parishes for connections and conversations, so too do people tell stories of
their former priests and pastors. I know that I’ve heard a few stories about Fr. Tom in my time here and I’m
sure many of you could share your own. His fifteen years as pastor rival only Msgr. Wagner in terms of length.
Like all priests, he was not a perfect man and some of the stories I’ve heard have not always been positive.
Likewise, I’ve heard plenty of heartwarming stories of how he ministered to his flock. I’m convinced, especially
as a successor of his, that Fr. Tom tried to lead and shepherd his people as best as possible in his time here as
Of course, such things make me think of the legacy I’m creating in my own time as pastor. I hope to have a
fairly long tenure here and that there are more positives than negatives for the parish in my years shepherding
you. Every priest that I’ve spoken to who has been assigned here, pastor or associate or even transitional
deacon, talks of how much of a blessing it was to be part of this community. You should take pride in that.
In your charity, please continue to pray for the repose of Fr. Tom’s soul. As priests, we don’t have the joy of
raising families and as such, we depend on the prayers of former parishioners, especially after we have left this
Eternal rest grant unto Fr. Tom, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
Peace and Goodness,