Diocese of Phoenix


After nearly four months of unemployment and the enduring the most difficult period of my life without a job, I give all praise and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for finding me the ideal job. The intercessory prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints and Angels have surely helped as well.

This position potentially is the dream job for me, since it focuses heavily on the work I am already doing on this blog.  Although I loved being a high school teacher, the work I have been doing through this blog has brought me great satisfaction since I have been told that my writing has helped adult Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and come to understand the importance their Catholic faith plays in their daily lives.

My new position, beginning November 4, will be as the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Gilbert, Arizona. I will oversee the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), Adult Confirmation, Adult Faith Formation (parish-wide), and be the parish staff contact between the Pastor and the faith formation ministries. Although I will be very busy, my writing will continue on this blog.

I would like to thank Fr. Will Schmid, Pastor of St. Mary Magdalene, for offering this position and giving me the opportunity to serve the parish. It’s going to be a great experience to work daily with Fr. Will. I have known him before he was a seminarian. As a seminarian, Fr. Will and others would come into my classroom at Saint Mary’s Catholic High School, when I taught theology, to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

There are already so many good things happening at St. Mary Magdalene. I hope that I can bring even a small contribution to the work the Holy Spirit is already doing in the young parish. I look forward to meeting a staff I hear many great things about as well as meet the many parishioners that call St. Mary Magdalene their home.

As Pope Francis often says to us, I say to you, please PRAY for me as I begin this new endeavor.

Thank you to everyone that offered up countless prayers for my job search and life in general. There are way too many people to list here, but I would like to say thank you specifically to my parents – Tom and Joyce Perna, without their continued support, life would be much more difficult; my sister, Carla and her family who seem to always have my back; and my extended family here (The Perna’s and Warner’s) and the Perna family in New Jersey.

I would also like to thank The Most Rev. James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico; Fr. Robert Clements of the ASU Newman Center, Fr. Thaddeus McGuire of St. Daniel the Prophet Catholic Church, Bill Minton, Pat Ryan, Christina Strafaci, Michael Garibaldi, Jon Ciani, Sean Yeager, Debbie Georgianni, Ron and Kathy Klemme, and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.


“BE NOT AFRAID!” – Jesus Christ and Blessed John Paul II

Today’s “Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the New Testament, Part 2

12 replies »

  1. Congrats Tom! So happy for you! And so happy for you that you can see this so clearly as a grace from God. May you always attribute every blessing to the providence and love of God! And speaking from someone who is currently in parish ministry, I’ll be praying that you continue to see every upcoming challenge in the same light. Just kidding, I’m sure you will love your new job. Well actually, I’m only kidding a little…:)

  2. May God bring many blessings to you in your new job. From what I read on this blog, you are well suited for the position. Congratulations!

  3. Congratulations, Tom!
    Being a member of the staff here at St. Mary Magdalene, I am so excited that you will be joining us! We look forward to all that you bring with regards to knowledge and experience, as well as your passion for the faith!

  4. Congratulations, Tom! While it may have been a hard road to this position, you are surely in a good place for your gifts!

  5. We are all blessed by the Holy Spirit to have you remain with us in the desert. Congratulations Tom and to everyone who knows you!

  6. Congratulations, Tom! Didn’t know you knew Fr. McGuire? I’m sure you will be happy at St Mags, such a beautiful parish and it seems like the perfect fit for you. God be with you.

  7. Tom: Wally and I are so proud of you and your accomplishments and congratulate you on your new job at St. Mary Magdalene’s! You will be such an asset to SMM! We were involved there when Fr. Greg Menegay was pastor and attended there until we moved full-time to Prescott in 2011. We’ve been following you and are thrilled (as we know your parents are) that you are such a committed and wonderful man of God. May God richly bless you now and always… with our best wishes, fond memories, and much love, Dorothy & Wally

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