Farewell to Fr. Tom Commons: 1920-2004

This article was authored by League staffer Julie McCreevy.

Fr. Tom Commons

On December 29, 2004, Rev. Thomas V. Commons, SVD, a priest for fifty-five years, died after a brief but intense period of suffering.

Fr. Tom was a man who radiated peace, joy, kindness and good humor. He had an intense love for the unborn and could often be found at the Pro-Life Action League offering Mass and visiting.

Father Tom was one of ten children. He was born January 22, 1920, started his studies for the priesthood at age fourteen and spent twenty-five years as a missionary in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. He survived several bouts of malaria and other fevers before his health finally forced him back to the U.S. He spent his last years as a missionary to the unborn, praying outside abortion mills and never once missing a Helpers prayer vigil with our Chicago Bishops.

Fr. Tom’s “Pro-Life Weapon”

Once, when Father was praying at the notorious Albany late-term abortion clinic, the police were called by the clinic personnel who claimed that the prayer group had weapons. When the police questioned the pro-lifers, Fr. Tom quietly held up his rosary and told the officers, “Yes, our weapons are right here.”

Father’s wit and wisdom were gifts from on high, where now we pray his twinkling eyes and welcoming smile are resting on his one true Love, the One to whom he gave his life in order to receive something far greater in return.

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