Deacon Tom Rich has had a spiritual and physical connection with Graymoor since he was a child. He fondly remembers visiting the Holy Mountain with his family.
Years passed. Deacon Tom received Master’s degrees in Nursing, Health Education and Religious Studies, as well as a Licentiate Degree of Canon Law and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Counseling. In 1986, he became a professed secular Franciscan. He serves at Our Lady of Hope Church in Carle Place, NY. In 2004, Deacon Tom co-founded the Society of Franciscan Deacons.
Amid all of these accomplishments, one thing was missing, but in 2020, it finally happened: Deacon Tom was welcomed as a member of the Tertiaries of the Society of the Atonement (TSA) ad experimentum. Active in Graymoor’s retreat ministry, Deacon Tom has become an expert in the history of the Friars, particularly Fr. Paul Wattson, SA, Servant of God. As a tertiary, Deacon Tom rejoices in sharing the ministry developed by Father Paul on the Holy Mountain, a place that has meant so much to Deacon Tom for most of his life.