Franciscan Mission Service welcomes two new board members: Fr. Tom Washburn (OFM), and returned missioner Thomas McGregor!
Their invitation and acceptance illustrates the balance and richness of Franciscan Mission Service’s board through Fr. Tom’s pastoral experience as an ordained Franciscan priest as well as Thomas’ experiences as a missioner in El Salvador and Colombia.
Bringing together a cleric like Fr. Tom and an expert in the world of finance like Thomas reflects the varied backgrounds of people called to the Franciscan movement. Hopefully, their stories will inspire other “Franciscan-hearted” people to answer the call in their lives to commit deeper to the example of St. Francis of Assisi.
Fr. Tom is a Franciscan friar of the Immaculate Conception Province who has served on the Franciscan Mission Service Board of Directors since 2013. He first heard about Franciscan Mission Service through his work as the Executive Secretary of the English Speaking Conference of the Franciscan Order, coordinating ministries between O.F.M. members of the Franciscan family in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Malta, and Lithuania. He also makes time for more directly pastoral ministry, facilitating retreats, coordinating the Confirmation program in his home parish in Boston, and taking preaching assignments each year to speak about the good works that Franciscan friars and lay people like Franciscan Mission Service are doing around the world.
When asked his thoughts on joining the board, Fr. Tom is quick to reply. “I have truly enjoyed the process. The board is full of a diversity of people, with tremendously varied experiences, gifts and talents, but all with the same common love and goal – supporting the good works of Franciscan Mission Service.”
Thomas McGregor is the Vice President (Corporate Banking Risk Officer) of City National Bank of Florida. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, he first came to embrace his faith in college through the university Catholic Newman Center. Listening to the Gospel and feeling called to live out Christ’s call to mission, he later served for two years as a director of a Mexican homeless shelter on the U.S./Mexico border. Inspired by this work, he began looking for ways to satisfy what seemed to be an unfulfilled call to a more interpersonal experience of foreign mission. Considering in his heart the words traditionally ascribed to St. Francis—“Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words”—he selected Franciscan Mission Service as the vehicle to serve God, serving for two years (2000-2002) in El Salvador and Colombia.
In addition to his work in finance, he also serves on the council of his local TEC (To Encounter Christ) Young Adult community and helps to lead their bi-annual retreats. In both this position and his position on the board of Franciscan Mission Service, he brings a wealth of broad-based experience, encompassing first-hand knowledge of mission, as well as business/managerial training in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.
Thomas loves the way Pope Francis is bringing a Franciscan heart to the Church and is excited for what that means for the future.
“This is just a fabulous time to be part of the Franciscan family!” he says. “How much easier has our job become to preach of St. Francis, for we have the very visible presence of our Pope to offer. Let us not waste, but go in haste to do His will!”