tgriffin

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Name: 
Thomas Griffin
Type of Vocation: 
Seminarian

Personal information

Full name
Tom Griffin
What Year are you in of your studies?: 
3rd Theology
Anticipated Year of Ordination?: 
2016
Which Seminary are you attending?: 
Pope St. John XXIII - Weston, MA

About Tom

Where and when were you born?: 
I was born and grew up in Hartford. After I was married we lived for a short while in East Hartford then moved to Hebron in 1984.
Describe your family: 
I come from a large Irish Catholic family. Both of my parents came from Ireland, my father from Dooks-Glenbeigh, County Kerry and my mother from Gort, County Galway. I am the seventh of eight children and my family was made up of five brothers and two sisters. I am a single father and have three terrific grown children.
What was your career or background before entering the seminary?: 
Before entering seminary I spent over 25 years in the Connecticut banking industry working mostly in community banks.
What were major Catholic activities you participated in prior to attending the seminary?: 
I had spent a number of years active in my local parish on a number of different committees and lay ministries. I am also a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. In the community I spent a number of years as a Catholic representative, a Board Member and Treasurer of the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry.
Who is your favorite Saint?: 
I have a special devotion to Blessed John XXIII (ironic that I would attend a seminary with him as a patron). I admire his love of peace and his forward vision seen in his decision to call the Second Vatican Council. I pray to him often and my prayers to him have been a very strong part of my discernment process.
What are your favorite hobbies?: 
I enjoy spending time with my children and with my friends whether it's getting together for dinner or just hanging out. When I'm home I like to tackle small projects around the house.
When did you first think that God was calling you to be a priest?: 
I actually considered becoming a priest when I was a teenager in high school. A group of three or four of us from school went to a seminary for a one day visit. But for whatever reason I wasn't ready at that time and life began to happen. But looking back I guess this call must have always been with me just waiting until I was ready to hear and listen.
Who influenced/inspired you to consider diocesan priesthood?: 
Back in my youth I think it was my parish priests that I wanted to emulate, especially Father Tom Gaffney who always had time for the people of the parish regardless of age, race, or social standing. When I began to feel the call again two people played a critical role for me, my spiritual director Sister Judy was a prime influence. I was able to talk with her frankly about my thoughts, hopes, fears and concerns and she was able to give me an objective viewpoint, directing me but not leading me to any particular decision. Secondly my pastor Father Michael showed me the good that a priest can do and how much we are needed today both inside the parish church but also out with the public living the gospel and that made me want to serve among the people in a parish.
Please describe the importance of prayer in your life: 
Prayer was always an important part of my life but it has grown from important to vital. Missing prayer is like missing the chance to spend time with your best friend. The more time I can spend in prayer the closer I grow to Jesus. Having access to a chapel just a short walk away 24/7 is such a great benefit. Spending time in His presence talking, praying or just being with Him brings me such inner peace.