He arrived in Korea on June 1950, but with the onset of the Korean War he and other colleagues were assigned to Japan later that year. Those were very difficult years in Japan: parish congregations were tiny and huge efforts were made to reach out to people who had little interest in Christianity. For the next 17 years Tom served in Fukuoka, in Gobo, in Hashimoto, in Montana, in Kamogawa, in Shingu and in Wakayama City where he was Area-Superior.
In January 1977, he was assigned to the USA and to the General Mission Office in Omaha. Over the following twenty years he served in many of our houses including Quincy, MA, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Tom was an excellent host wherever he was assigned, and his friendly, open personality made him very effective on promotion work. When his health deteriorated he returned to Ireland, and entered the Dalgan Retirement Home in 2008.
Tom was a dedicated missionary priest. Asked in an interview what kept him going over the years he replied, “Well, I suppose saying one’s prayers, and all the prayers offered for us by people at home and in many other places… you can’t explain what kept you going … a miracle, really, when you look back at it now.”
Tom died peacefully on 31 January 2017.