Over the course of his 54 years as an ordained priest, Fr. Tom O’Donnell has worn many hats: music educator at Oberlin College, faculty position at St. Mary Seminary, staff position at the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Cleveland, Chaplain at Metro Hospital, and Pastor at Holy Name Parish in Slavic Village to name a few. Sprinkle in several more parishes, Marymount Hospital and Light of Hearts Villa, and you have quite a robust and diverse career in Catholic ministry. “Who would have believed you would ever find work in so many different opportunities in the same ministry? asks Fr. Tom. “It was super and I really had a wonderful experience in all those areas. Is there a neater way to have a life than to be doing these kinds of things? And that’s because I was ordained a priest.” Having moved around quite a bit over the years, Fr. Tom was looking for a Catholic assisted living facility to finally put down roots in his retirement, preferably on the west side.
“When the opportunity came up to come to St. Augustine Towers, I thought ‘boy, if I were on the west side, I’d be able to see family and friends’. I grew up in Lakewood, went to St. Luke’s grade school and then St. Ed’s for high school. I have a lot of friends still in Lakewood and family members who are west siders. Plus I definitely wanted to be in a Catholic institution because I wanted the sacraments and a Chapel for prayer. When the apartment at the Towers became available, that made the difference. In fact, one of the residents said ‘this is the best kept secret in Catholic assisted living’ and it really is.”
“When I first got here, I would concelebrate every day with our chaplain, Fr. Januarius, and that was very nice. And now they’re welcoming residents to come and celebrate Mass with us. I distributed Ashes on Ash Wednesday which gave me the chance to meet many of the residents in the building and that was wonderful. I know that this is going to be a busier life being here and I’m really happy for that. It’s great to be able to become more involved in active ministry. It’s a blessing for everybody. The people here are what make this such a terrific place – the staff and the residents. There’s so much to do – art, programs, movies, activities. It’s amazing what goes on here in one day.”
Asked about recommending Towers Assisted Living to others, Fr. Tom doesn’t miss a beat. “The best way to experience the Towers is to come and see it. This is ideal for someone who’s looking for Catholic assisted living and a place to call home.”
Towers Assisted Living is located at the St. Augustine Health Campus on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland, just west of the Gordon Square Arts District. Click here to learn more about life at the Towers or call 216-634-7444.