Yesterday, Fr. Tom Hopko fell asleep in the Lord. Many encomiums will be written rightfully extolling his service to the Church. Deserving eulogies will be offered to appropriately honor him. I can only say that he had a profound impact on my life as a child – he was my parish priest from when I was age 9 to about age 14 when he moved to New York. He then initiated a correspondence when I was about 18 and had wandered away from the church. It was that correspondence which led me back to the church and then into seminary. My life as a priest thankfully resulted from his taking time to talk with me. Through the years following seminary I can’t say I kept in close contact with Fr. Tom, but his words and wisdom were and are foundational to my life. I am grateful to him and also to his family who had to share him with so many others. May he now rest with the saints.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying,
“Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.”
“Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”