|Written by Michael Fones|
|Friday, 22 February 2008 14:34|
Brothers and sisters in Christ. I ask you to join the Western Dominican friars in a novena for one of our members, Fr. Thomas Kraft, OP. He is a few years older than me, and was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. The cancer is not only
in his lower esophagus and upper stomach, but has also been found in his liver. Our Provincial, Fr. Emmerich Vogt, OP is asking all of the brethren to pray a Novena for Fr. Thomas to Mother Teresa. Tom has known with her priests and sisters for many years and has great devotion to her.
The novena will begin this Monday, February 25. I thank you for joining us in prayer for this wonderful priest. I have included a little biography of Fr. Tom below the prayer asking for Bl. Teresa's prayers.
Prayer for Canonization of Mother Teresa
Jesus, you made Blessed Teresa of Calcutta an inspiring example of firm faith and burning
charity, an extraordinary witness to the way of spiritual childhood, and a great and
esteemed teacher of the value and dignity of every human life. Grant that she may be
venerated and imitated as one of the Church's canonized saints.
Hear the requests of all those who seek her intercession, especially the petition I now
implore: the healing of Fr. Tom Kraft, O.P.
May we follow her example in heeding Your cry of thirst from the Cross and joyfully loving
You in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, especially those most unloved
We ask this in Your name and through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and the
Mother of us all. Amen.
Fr. Tom Kraft, O.P. was born and raised in Spokane, WA. He is the second of four children born to Gene and Julia Kraft. As a grade school boy, he was blessed to live across the street from the Poor Clare monastery, where he served Mass for many years. The nuns were and still are a powerful spiritual influence in his life. Just two blocks down the street from the Kraft residence is the parish of St. Francis of Assisi. There, Fr. Tom enjoyed going to grade school and participating in all the activities of the parish and school. He delighted in serving mass and meeting many Franciscans, who were a positive influence in his vocation.
Fr. Tom attended a Jesuit preparatory school followed by two years at Gonzaga University and three at Eastern Washington University. Since grade school, he felt the call to be a priest and seriously considered entering the Franciscans while at the University. After graduating from college, he was blessed to work in a volunteer program in the archdiocese of Seattle. By the grace of God, he lived close to the Dominican parish, Blessed Sacrament, where he attended Eucharist. After Mass one day, a Dominican asked him if he had ever considered becoming a Dominican priest. He did not know what it meant to be a Dominican. Over the course of the year in Seattle, he was drawn to the Dominicans and the priesthood. After being accepted, he entered the novitiate in 1977, made vows in 1978, and was ordained a priest at the Oakland Cathedral in 1986.
His first assignment was at the Arizona State University Newman Center. There he found a wonderful ministry to the college students; he loved working with young Catholics. He continued his service to students by serving six years at the University of Utah Newman Center.
One of his interests was the Spanish language; he studied the language as a hobby. Soon he desired to study full time and was given permission to study Spanish in Bogotá for seven months. After completing his studies, he was blessed to be assigned to the new Dominican mission parish in Mexicali, Mexico where he worked for eight and half years. He treasured the years of serving the poor and needy of Mexico.
After such a unique assignment, he decided to get back into Newman ministry and was assigned to the University of Washington Newman Center for three superb years.
During this time his mother died of cancer and his father’s health began to fail. He decided to request a year to be close to his father so he is presently serving in University Ministry at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. There he is the coordinator of a retreat program and faith sharing groups among the students.
Fr. Tom loves the Dominican life and preaching. He lives the Dominican motto of contemplare et contemplada aliis tradere: to share with others the fruits of your contemplation.