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Local Family wins Knights of Columbus ‘Family of the Year’ honors

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By Megan Walsh
The Catholic Telegraph

What happens when you, your wife, your brother, your sister-in-law, your daughter, her husband and your sister all contribute to the vibrant parish life of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Morrow? You have high chances of winning the Family of the Year honors for the state of Ohio from the Knights of Columbus.

“I definitely was not expecting it,” admitted Tom Moorman, Knight of Columbus and patriarch to his faithful and active family. 

The Moorman family has been serving their community at St. Philip for at least nine years after Tom and his wife, Jean, moved down the street from Tom’s brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Sue.

“We were always driving up here anyway so we decided to move also,” said Jennifer, Tom’s daughter.

The first ministry to welcome the Moormans was the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at weekend masses. Tom and Jean were the first, and then Jerry and Sue began, and following them was Jennifer, and Debbie, Tom and Jerry’s sister.

“When Jean is scheduled to (be a) eucharistic minister, we’re all scheduled with her,” said Sue. “It turns into a Moorman family Mass.”

After Tom realized he enjoyed being involved, he decided he wanted more. He sat on parish council for three years and began a legacy.

“There’s been a Moorman on parish council since 2006,” said Tom.

It was only a matter of time before the most visible organization at St. Philip recruited Tom also. He has now been a member of the Knights of Columbus for six years.

“Being a Knight…that organization…has helped me become more spiritual and a better Catholic,” Tom said. “I think everyone else can agree with that.”

Being a Knight has prompted Tom to further his participation in the church community and he has been running the parish fish fries for the last five years. He also organizes the parish picnic and isn’t afraid of helping his loved ones take on more responsibility.

Every weekend, Tom greets parishioners and friends as they walk into church and he assists the handicap in parking their cars and walking them into church.

As leaders, the Moormans help run many activities, but delegate to the multitude of helping hands that join them.

“There are always familiar faces at any of the events,” Debbie said.

St. Philip has a chapel and years ago eucharistic adoration was very organized but now it has fallen through the cracks. Sue is now working to revitalize the eucharistic adoration, and her goal is to reach the full schedule of 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the chapel at St. Philip.

Jean keeps just as busy as her husband with the Knights of Columbus Ladies’ Auxiliary and has co-organized two craft fairs during Thanksgiving Day weekend 2011 and 2012 with Sue. Combined, the craft fairs have helped raise more than $6,000.

“The money is given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society who then gives it to a family in the parish in need with kids…to have a better Christmas,” said Jean.

The grounds of St. Philip are maintained by the Gardening Angels, which Debbie, Tom, and Jerry contribute to.

“From early spring to late fall, four groups of gardeners alternate weeks to water, prune, and weed the flowers,” said Debbie. “That way the flowers always look nice and there isn’t one person up there all the time.”

The Moormans are quick to admit that they weren’t always like this and that others make it easy to stay busy.

“We haven’t always lived this close together,” said Sue. “The friendship between us all has grown since and we like being together.”

Jean described Father Ron Piepmeyer, pastor, and Deacon David Wallace as fun and active men, who encourage participation in everything.

The service they do for their community and St. Philip is far from an obligation.

“It’s more of a social activity because we have so much fun,” said Jean. “We take up two rows at church and go out to dinner afterward.”

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