Recently retired Rev. Tom Lalor honored at St. Aloysius

Published 7:45 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

Education has been a part of the Rev. Tom Lalor’s life since he arrived in the United States 53 years ago.

One of his first duties when he arrived in Biloxi as a recently ordained priest in 1966 was as a teacher.

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When he became pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church in 2013, he was canonical administrator for Vicksburg Catholic Schools, responsible for all phases of the operations for St. Aloysius and St. Francis Xavier schools and a regular visitor to the schools. He remained canonical administrator until his retirement in early January.

Thursday morning, his dedication to education and Vicksburg Catholic Schools was honored with the renaming of the St. Aloysius High School Library the “Father Thomas J. Lalor Library.”

After the brief ceremony, Lalor called the dedication “a great honor that people would think of me that way. I thought that would never happen to me.”

“The thing that struck me when I came here was the presence of Father  (P.J.) Curley and Father Tom,” St. Aloysius principal Buddy Strickland told the assembled students and guests. “When people talk about love, you could see the love each of those two men have for this school and for you (students).

“It was visible every day. I can truly say that at least three or four times a week one or the other was present at this school.”

Turning to the two priests, he told them, “We love you more than you know. They truly are what Catholic education represents and what the clergy represents to our school. Theirs is a love and compassion and a caring for you.”

Turning to Lalor, Strickland said, “Father Tom, you know how much we care about you.”

He said Lolar has visited the school four times since his retirement, “And the first thing he would ask every time was ‘How are the students doing? Tell them I care about them.’ I told him ‘you have to come back now that your name is on it (the library).’”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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