Father Tab's Work at St. Thomas Aquinas
Father Taraborelli's priesthood was guided by a vision of inclusion and embracing of all people. Always the good shepherd for his flock, he saw upon his return to St. Thomas Aquinas a neighborhood in great transition. He immediately began his work to ensure that St. Thomas's was a place for all people. He took many steps himself to move this vision forward, but his hand was also felt indirectly as he empowered many others to find their own voices and make their own places in the church and school community. As a result, St. Thomas Aquinas today is a vibrant, rich community of diverse worshippers and learners.
Among the many changes at St. Thomas Aquinas over the past two decades are the following: Weekly mass in Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Spanish, as well as English; Rituals and visual symbols reflecting all races and ethnicities of the community; creation of an Adoration Chapel so that people could have a private place to worship; refurbishment of the church to create a lasting physical structure of which parishioners could be proud; scholarships and free or reduced cost hot breakfast and lunch for needy students; day car, including a before-school program with breakfast and a subsidized after-school program for school children; establishment of the Asian Social Center; English as a Second Language classes; health screenings for the entire community; formation of Concerned Black Catholics; work with the Philadelphia Police to increase community safety; partnerships with many diverse civic groups to enchance community life.