Tom Purcell of Effingham will be serving as an intern in the Office for Pro-Life Activities and Special Ministries from September 2020 through May 2021. In his new role, Purcell will be visiting and talking to parishes and principals to increase awareness about the annual Diocesan Campaign for Justice and Hope (DCJH) program and ways people can help increase understanding and support for DCJH.
Through donations received through the annual campaign with a collection conducted in late November, the DCJH program provides grants to organizations that help people overcome challenges — organizations that provide material support, teach life skills and give hope to low-income individuals and families.
“We aren’t just asking people to donate, but also want them to know what the organizations do,” he says. “I will be preparing presentations and providing materials, plus giving talks to increase awareness of social justice.” He also plans on promoting faithful citizenship. Purcell will probably be working in the Curia offices twice a week and traveling throughout the diocese on other days.
Purcell, who is retired from the sales and marketing profession with experience in consumer and commercial business, has worked for a number of businesses, including KitchenAid and Fedders Corporation. Additionally, for the past eight years he has been responsible for the PSR programs for Sacred Heart Parish and St. Anthony Parish, both in Effingham.
“I tell people that I have gotten a promotion,” he says. “I went from being a senior vice president to being an intern for Jesus.”
As an intern, he received training through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in Washington, D.C. “Normally we would have flown there for training, however because of COVID-19 this year the entire course was on-line via Zoom,” he says. “The people taking this course ranged in age from their early 20s up into their 60s.”
Purcell’s internship is made possible through a grant received from the CCHD program.