Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tom Dillon

Tom Dillon and his wife, Terri, receiving the blessing of Pope John Paul II on the design plans for Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, Easter week 2003.

Most of you probably already know about the sudden death of Tom Dillon, the President of my alma mater, Thomas Aquinas College. Dr. Dillon was killed in a car accident yesterday while on business for the college in Ireland. His wife, Terri, remains in the hospital with minor injuries.

Devastated by this loss, I haven't found words to post here. Dr. Dillon was a humble and virtuous man. His loss is deeply felt by everyone who knew him. I echo what Alicia says about Tom - he bore affection and authentic interest in each and every student/alumni of the college. My husband reminded me last night that he came to my grandmother's funeral over a year ago. Mr. Dillon didn't know my grandparents, but he took the time out of his busy schedule for the loss of our family.

Despite this tremendous loss, I can't help but reflect that this man accomplished his ultimate goal for the college since his election as president all those years ago - the completion of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, the crowning jewel of the campus. Dr. Dillon worked tirelessly, year after year, with great humility and prayer toward providing a beautiful House for the school's Heavenly Father on campus. He finished that House and saw it dedicated to Our Lord and His Mother a month ago.

My husband and I were reflecting last night about the inscription above the entrance: "Haec Est Domus Dei Et Porta Coeli", "This is the House of God and The Gate of Heaven". We can't help but think over many years with God's grace and help from his friends, Tom Dillon built that Porta Coeli and yesterday morning, he walked through it.

I realize it does no service to a soul to assume his final resting place, so please pray for the repose of the soul of Dr. Thomas Dillon and the consolation of his wife and family, and for the college.


Carmen said...

Thanks for your beautiful words about Dr. Dillon. I remember him being so involved with the students and so dedicated to TAC.

Grace in my Heart said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I was reminded today that it was this time last year that our Holy Father was visiting the United States. He met with the leaders of US Catholic colleges and urged them to teach our young people the Catholic faith in its truest and most authentic form. Your school was truly blessed to have such a man living out this mission. Blessings and prayers for you, your college, and his family.