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The Suburbanite
  • New vicar begins duties at St. Francis de Sales

  • Newly ordained, Rev. Louis Thomas, has arrived at St. Francis de Sales in the Portage Lakes as the new Parochial Vicar. He replaces Rev. Anthony Suso who was reassigned to Cleveland after four years in residence at St. Francis.

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  • Newly ordained, Rev. Louis Thomas, has arrived at St. Francis de Sales in the Portage Lakes as the new Parochial Vicar. He replaces Rev. Anthony Suso who was reassigned to Cleveland after four years in residence at St. Francis.
    “I really though I would get the rural assignment in Wooster. … Instead I was assigned to St. Francis, which came as a complete surprise,” Thomas said. “I had met the pastor, Father Bline once, but really didn’t know much about the parish.”
    St. Fracis may not be what he expected, but it’s everything he needed.
    “It is a peaceful place (and) the people were very welcoming,” Thomas said. “… Father Bline is a good and holy priest. He is very Irish and has a great sense of humor.”
    Like Suso he is a fan of J.R.R. Tolkein and the Lord of the Rings, “though not as much as Father Suso was,” he said with a smile. He is also a Star Trek fan and into sci-fi. He likes archery,shooting and fishing, “though I don’t want to kill God’s little furry creatures”.
    Upon his arrival, he was thrust into temporary leadership of the parish when Bline went on vacation the last few weeks in July. During that time he has given daily masses, presided over several funerals, entertained a visiting missionary and gotten to know the parishioners and the area.
    SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
     Thomas was born in 1976 in South Korea. He and his twin brother were adopted  and moved to the west side of Cleveland. He attended high school at St. Edwards where he said he belongs to what he called the “245 Club.”
    “We left school at 2:45,” Thomas said with a smile.
    His journey to the priesthood began at St. Edwards where the students would receive vocational talks from the staff and visiting priests.
    “They pushed Notre Dame,” he said, “and I could see myself being a supporter of the Fighting Irish.”
    A supporter, yes, but without a clear vision for his career, Thomas didn’t feel driven to attend school there. Instead, he attended classes at Cuyahoga Community College and it was there he met a seminarian who inspired and encouraged him.
    Thomas enrolled at Borromeo Seminary in the fall of 1999.
    He received a history degree and moved on to St. Mary’s to begin further studies. When his mother fell ill, Thomas took a five-year sabbatical  care for her and reevaluate his calling.
    He prayed for a sign.
    Shortly after attending the ordination of his classmates he had lunch with a friend who told him “you need to go back to the seminary.”
    This proved to be the message he needed.