Editor’s note: Two eighth grade students from St. Pius X in Westerly recently interviewed Bishop Tobin for the school newspaper, Panther Pages. Rhode Island Catholic is pleased to honor a request …
Editor’s note: Two eighth grade students from St. Pius X in Westerly recently interviewed Bishop Tobin for the school newspaper, Panther Pages. Rhode Island Catholic is pleased to honor a request from the two students to publish the interview.
Q.)WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
A.) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – the home of the Steelers!
Q.) DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS? WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES?
A.) I had a brother Raymond, who passed away, another brother, Robert, and my sister Marjorie.
Q.) WHO INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP?
A.) Definitely my parents ,who are wonderful people and provided a great home for me and my siblings. Also, I looked up to my priest and my Benedictine nuns and lay teachers. My first grade teacher, whom I loved a lot, passed away recently.
Q.) WHEN DID YOU START DISCERNING ABOUT BECOMING A PRIEST?
A.) As long as I can remember. In second and third grade I played Mass with my friends. When I was 14, I joined the seminary.
Q) MR. FIORE TOLD US THAT YOU WERE ONCE IN A FOLK GROUP…CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
A) If Mr. Fiore said so, it must be true! When I was in the seminary, I was in a group called the Ethnics. It was named that because there were people many of ethnic backgrounds in the group. Later, the remaining members of the Ethnics joined with other remaining members of groups that had split up. We called ourselves The Remains. We had become pretty good by the time we were in college! We were televised in Erie, PA.
Q) WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
A)Well, it wasn’t Math and Science! Social Sciences, Spelling, Reading and Religion (of course) I was comfortable with. I have bad memories of a Trigonometry test when I was in college!
Q) WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SAINT?
A) It is hard to focus on one saint. I would have to pick, though, St. Thomas, the apostle, because of my namesake, and because bishops are successors of the apostles.
Q) WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN THE CHURCH? WHY?
I am a great fan of Pope John Paul II, because he was such a great man with historical importance and he had such an enormous effect on the Church. (Also, an important little tidbit was that Bishop Tobin was the
last American appointment of Pope John Paul’s life. He died 48 hours later.)
Q) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LITURGICAL SEASON?
A) Probably Advent, because It is a very peaceful, prayerful time and I am more of a Christmas person! I also give talks at annual retreats.
Q) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE SCHOOL?
A) Stay very close to Christ and the Church. Young people need the Church; its teachings, sacraments,
and support of the Church community. The Church needs your faith, enthusiasm, gifts, and
Q) DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE COLOR?
A) It depends on how it’s being used and the combination...but I don’t really have a favorite. I have been accused of liking beige, however!