Mercy and Justice

Deacon's Council

Mercy and Justice

“Following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts, and then love more…”

– Mother Teresa

The Deacon’s Council serves the Parish by properly ordering all the ways we reverence the dignity of the Human Person. We intend that each year there will be a comprehensive living of the Church’s social teaching. To achieve this we will coordinate works of service and fundraising.  We will also ensure that all of those who undertake this Holy Service have a chance to present their work to the whole parish so that the Community may learn and contribute. The Council will work always to preserve the integrity and proper self-direction of each ministry.

These are the avenues our parishioners have opened to serve our brothers and sisters:

Feeding the Hungry Ministry

Our parish helps to feed the hungry and provide necessary items to friends in need in our community through organizing collections for the Holy Comforter Church and Church of the Incarnation pantries, The Haven and the Red Hill Elementary School Backpack Program. In addition, parishioners cook and serve dinners at the Salvation Army four times a month with the food obtained with parish funds. We also prepare two dinners each year for PACEM. Contact: Mark Ross (click here).

Salvation Army

Prepare and serve dinner at the Soup Kitchen:

Haiti Ministry

Members of St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish join the parishioners of St. Michel’s in Saltadare, Haiti, in the spiritual support of each other’s parish. Since the early 1990s,  we work to support the St. Michel School, clinic, rectory, and church. Through the student sponsorship program, we assist with the expenses of its school operation. Through fund raising activities as auctions, golf tournaments, and Haitian “Arts & Crafts” fairs, we help support the operating costs for the St. Michel Clinic and Church. We also have regular trips to St. Michel that are open to all church members. Trips may be focused to medical teams, UVA student breaks, or construction planning; but always open to any of our parishioners. See the Church bulletin for our weekly updates. For more information, visit our tri-parish site. Meetings are at 12noon on the 2nd Tuesday of the month (attendees can come via Zoom too). Contact: Bob Fromm (click here).


IMPACT is a faith-based organization consisting of 27 local congregations.  It is a direct action organization focused on addressing the root causes of community problems, empowering local leaders to identify and develop solutions and the engagement of area decision makers who can implement proposed solutions to these problems.  Recent issues addressed by IMPACT are affordable housing, transportation and access to pre-K education.


This ministry involves outreach to the homeless in our community. We coordinate our efforts with PACEM who house homeless men and women in host congregations throughout the winter months. St. Thomas parishioners will assist Church Of the Incarnation (Jan. ’24) and St. Mark’s Lutheran (Feb. ’24) when they host, by preparing and serving an evening meal.  Notification of the need for volunteers for these meals is through the parish print bulletin and e-bulletin. Contact: Judy Zacharias (click here).

Respect Life

This ministry is dedicated to the doctrine of our faith that all life is sacred and must be protected and defended from conception until natural death. Our primary focus is the defense of the unborn children who are not protected under the laws of our nation or our commonwealth. We participate in regular prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood to share the message that every child is a precious gift from God deserving of protection. We support the efforts of Life Spring Pregnancy Center of Central Virginia which offers resources to women in crisis pregnancies. We have participated in the annual 40 Days for Life campaign since 2007, as well as the annual Walk for Life in Charlottesville. Many parishioners attend the annual March for Life in DC and Richmond. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8). Contact: Delia Laux (click here).

St. Vincent de Paul Society Holy Trinity Conference

Our SVdP conference consists of parishioners of the local Catholic churches with a mission to grow spiritually through helping our friends in need in this community. We meet each month and provide assistance through personal interactions by which we see the face of Christ in those who we serve.  “Go to the poor: you will find God” (St. Vincent de Paul). Click here to visit our site to learn more.

Additional Opportunities

In our Liturgical Ministry and ministry to families, there are additional charitable opportunities (e.g. our Bethany Ministry, the Visitation Guild, the Jesus Wept Grief Support Group, serving the families of the deceased, and our St. Zelie Ministry for Infertility & Miscarriage).

Parish Giving Year

This list, while comprehensive, does not include the many hours of dedicated service donated by innumerable volunteers. The gift of such service is vital to the work made financially possible through the following appeals and fundraisers.


  • Youth Ministry fundraiser
  • Hope for Haiti Golf Tournament
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society Holy Trinity Conference: Friends of the Poor Walk
  • Mission Cooperative Appeal (Diocesan)
  • Red Hill School Supplies Drive


  • Haiti Arts Fair
  • Respect Life Month: 40 Days for Life (October)
  • Turkeys (Parish donation to Loaves and Fishes)


  • Advent Gift Fair (Christ the King)
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society Holy Trinity Conference: Give the Gift of Light
  • Giving Tree
  • Knights of Columbus: Coats for Kids
  • Knights of Columbus: Keep Christ in Christmas card sale for vocations


  • Catholic Schools Week (CCS; January)
  • Haiti Sponsorship event (February)


  • Spring Break Trips (Catholic Hoos, service to the poor)


  • Annual Diocesan Appeal
  • Operation Rice Bowl (Catholic Relief Services)
  • Knights of Columbus: 40 Cans for Lent
  • Knights of Columbus: Friday Soup Suppers


  • St. Vincent de Paul Society Holy Trinity Conference: Easter Collection
  • Province of St. Joseph Formation Appeal


  • KOVAR: Knights of Columbus collection for VA Citizens with mental health challenges
  • Youth Ministry Cupcake Fundraiser


  • St. Vincent de Paul Society Holy Trinity Conference
  • Charlottesville Catholic School (CCS) (Grant Money for Scholarships)
  • IMPACT (Interfaith Movement Promotion Action by Congregations Together)
  • PACEM (People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry)
  • AIM (Alliance for Interfaith Ministries)
  • Love, Inc.
  • Food Pantries (at Holy Comforter and Incarnation Parishes)
  • Habitat
  • The Haven: Personal Care Items
  • Road to Emmaus (Catholic Hoos)
  • Respect Life
  • Salvation Army Dinners
  • Various Diocesan Collections throughout the year

Deacon’s Council Membership
  • Chair: Deacon Tony DiTolve
  • Pastor: Fr. Walter
  • Directory of Life & Mission: Karl Meier
  • Catholic Hoos Representative: Matthew Lines
  • Feeding the Hungry Representative: Mark Ross
  • Haiti Committee Representative: Bob Fromm
  • IMPACT/PACEM Representative: Judy Zacharias
  • Jesus Wept Community Representative: Kathy Brown & Roman Cybak
  • Knights of Columbus Representative: Mark Ross
  • Respect Life Representative: Delia Laux
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul Representative: Kelly Albertini
  • Visitation Guild Representative: Jean Scanlan

Upcoming Events