Why I Pledge — Tom Woodley

As members of Holy Trinity, my wife Nancy and I are glad to be part of a spiritual community of caring and selfless persons who contribute their time, services and resources in support of many worthy ministries. For example, on the Social Justice Committee, we focus efforts and financial aid for individuals who are under-privileged and in desperate need of help. Assistance is given to So Others Might Eat (SOME) and Christ House in DC where people who are homeless and hungry are furnished housing, food, healthcare, counseling, and job training. HT provides people power and food.

In addition, the Social Justice Committee allocates tithing grants to needy charitable causes such as the sister parish and school St. Jean Baptiste in Haiti which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake. Tithing grants also assist our other sister parish Maria Madre de los Pobres In El Salvador which serves the poorest of the poor. Additional support has been given to organizations protecting immigrant children victimized by trafficking and abuse.

In contrast to people in these desperate circumstances, I have benefited from a Jesuit education since I was a freshman in high school when, after my father died, a caring priest, Fr. John Enright, S.J., stepped up to be a mentor. The impactful ministries of HT offer worthwhile opportunities to give back, with appreciation and gratitude.

While Nancy and I share the considerable disappointment in the way in which the Catholic Church hierarchy has addressed the clerical sexual abuse crisis, meaningful change can only come from within—involving both the clergy and laity working diligently together. Walking away when serious challenges arise will not help to rebuild a more positive, pro-active, and healthy Church. With the responsibility of stewardship in mind, Nancy and I plan to do our small part in donating time and resources in order to pass along a faithful and forward-thinking Church to our grandchildren. As Holy Trinity parishioners, we believe this is the least we can do.

—Tom Woodley