Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tom MacDonald

I love everything about this story:  
This is why...

The other night on Facebook I stumbled across a note from one of those “friends” that you have that you really haven’t talked to in years but haven’t dropped because they’re kinda cool and plus you wanna keep your friend count up to save face.   But I digress.  This sorry doesn’t begin there.  It begins way back in 2006…

When I was in Belize with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), my good friend Anne, a graduate of UMass Amherst (and an all-around awesome person) began to tell us that the mission we were working with would be in good hands when we left that summer because in the fall, her friend Tom MacDonald was coming to volunteer.  We would speculate, “who would plan retreats?” and Anne assured us, “Tom MacDonald!”.  “Who will plan masses?”  “Tom MacDonald!”  “who could help rebuild the rectory, perform heart surgery on the Church ladies and sew uniforms for children in need?”  Anne would roll her eyes and assure us that duh, Tom MacDonald would totally have this under control.  According to Anne, Tom MacDonald was basically the Old Spice Guy of Team Catholic.

We went home, began our post-Belize lives and I forgot about the man, the myth and the legend that was Tom MacDonald.  Then I ended up back in Belize on a short trip and found myself at a St. Patrick’s day party, drinking rum, imported Guinness and Belikin with the volunteers at the mission that year and suddenly, I remembered.  “Wait!  WHERE’S Tom MacDonald?”  A tall volunteer with crazy hair said, “he didn’t come”.  “You mean to the party?  But I have to meet him.  Will he be around campus tomorrow?”  “No,”  Tall-crazy-haired-volunteer said,  “he didn’t come to Belize.  I’m Zach, a friend of his.”  To make a long story short, Tom MacDonald never showed up, Zach had come to Belize after hearing about it from Tom and had even bravely taken on the role as the token non-Catholic at the mission (they showed up occasionally at Mt. Carmel) and I continued to see him, occasionally.  He was clearly a great teacher and committed to the mission, but I could never see him without wondering how and why someone would come to a random mission in Belize without Tom MacDonald.

Fast forward to last night when I found Zach's Blog: my facebook newsfeed.  His story of pursuing and being pursued by God and the Church is great, but my favorite part is reading about how he blames Tom MacDonald.  I literally laughed out loud when I saw the title, thinking back to 2006, and how Anne assured us that Tom’s impact on the mission would be legendary.  Reading Zach’s blog last night I realized that she was right.  


  1. You're right! Tom wasn't so absent after all! Thanks for the link

  2. This is hilarious. That Tom MacDonald. He has a lot to live up to. Great story!