The following letter was submitted in response to a 2018 Cordova Chronicles article on Father Tom Killeen, then of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
I met Father Tom at Ft. Rucker, Ala. in the late seventies. He was one of the post chaplains. I worked with him on the MCCW (Military Council of Catholic Women). He made a lasting impression on me. He wasn’t one to preach rules and regulations, not that he didn’t follow them. As was often the case, his actions would speak louder than his words. He walked following the example of the love given to us by Jesus, Himself.
Father Tom cared for and ministered to everyone: single soldiers, married soldiers, spouses and children. He did so with great humility, honesty, compassion and mercy. As a spouse, I witnessed his enthusiasm for outdoor masses, summer potlucks for all, interacting with children, and proudly wearing the vestment they made him with their handprints. He would show up at the homes of those with deployed loved ones with a smile, a gallon of ice cream and an encouraging word.
While working with Father Tom, as a member of the MCCW, he modeled the importance of patience and priorities by keeping God first and trusting in His perfect timing. Father Tom was easy to talk to, a good listener, and wise in his advice. I was blessed by God for giving me the opportunity to know Father Tom. I’m very thankful for that time in the late ‘70s at Ft Rucker, Ala.