Fr. Tom Tallarida
Annette Magjuka | Friday, January 25, 2013
“As I look to the Day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose.” Phil 2:16
Fr. Tom Tallarida used this verse in his reflection on the 60 year anniversary of his priesthood. He died Jan. 5. Words cannot express how much I loved this man. I met him when I was an undergrad at ND. My roommate and I attended daily Mass at Zahm where Tom was the rector. He was my friend in the truest sense of the word. I knew he loved me, because he made this apparent through his demonstrative nature and his willingness to be there for me at a moment’s notice. He married my husband and me, baptized my children, and buried my father. His life demonstrated that love is an action verb: it is what you do more than what you think or say. He acted on his commitment to be a priest of integrity and love. He always did what he thought was right, despite possible negative consequences for himself. He considered rules and procedures secondary to ministering effectively, and always chose the person over the rule. This sometimes caused conflicts with the powers that be. Fr. Tom is the best priest I have ever known. I was nourished by his positive regard for me over my entire lifetime.
ND is full of caring professors, rectors and peers. My hope for all current ND students is you will meet those who will become “your people.” Fr. Tom was one of my people and his profound influence on my life is one of the best things I received from my Notre Dame education. Academic achievement is important, but showing up for one another and forging authentic relationships is equally important. I remember a few courses I took, a few great professors, and lots of the anxiety of studying and striving. What has remained with me are the friendships I forged, and those I grew to love. I love you, Fr. Tom. RIP.
Class of 1978