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Taylor Firestine - Artist, Father Thomas O'Connor - Everyday Stars (G-20)




Taylor Firestine
Student Artist
Bishop Luers High School

Father Thomas O'Connor
Everyday Star

As pastor of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne, Father Thomas O’Connor was not only a hardworking caregiver to the parish he served, but an instrument of God’s compassion for the community in which he lived.  Father Tom, as he was fondly known, left an undeniable and far reaching legacy in improving the lives of the region’s needy.  Among Father Tom’s charitable works, Saint Mary’s Soup Kitchen was one of his most cherished organizations.  Opened in 1975, Saint Mary’s Soup Kitchen serves 300,000 meals annually to those struggling to make ends meet.  Father Tom is also remembered for rallying the community in the wake of a fire that consumed the church in 1993, leading efforts to rebuild the parish, which opened on the site in 1999.  Although Father Tom O’Connor passed away in 2003, his charity and service continues to touch the lives of thousands in our region that need a helping hand.