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Wrong Thomas Cook?

Father Thomas E. Cook

HQ Phone: (507) 454-4643

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Diocese of Winona

55 West Sanborn Street

Winona, Minnesota 55987

United States

Company Description

Since 1989, the Diocese of Winona has operated an Audio/Visual Library to provide parishes with resources they couldn't otherwise afford. Starting in the fall of 2006, the library became a FREE resource to everyone in the diocese. Please promote this new ... more

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Background Information

Employment History


Mediawerks, Inc.


undergraduate degree


Web References (48 Total References)

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Thomas Cook

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Fr. Thomas Cook Catholics United for the Faith | Fr. Thomas Cook | Teaching the Catholic Faith

Catholics United for the Faith - Catholics United for the Faith is an international lay apostolate founded to help the faithful learn what the Catholic Church teaches. > CUF Resources > Lay Witness Archive > Fr. Thomas Cook Print This Post
Fr. Thomas Cook
Fr. Thomas Cook of the Diocese of Winona, MN, got an early start discerning his vocation. "I wanted to be a priest since I was four years old. My uncle, my mom's brother, is a priest. He is Salesian of Don Bosco and was always my inspiration," Fr. Cook said. "Even as a young kid, I wanted to be like him. And it was because of his love for the Mass, which is very, very important.
"He would come on vacation to our house, or to my grandparents' house and he would offer Mass for us. I loved to set up the Mass for my uncle. That was the coolest thing ever. [My uncle] would sit in his chair and pray his Breviary and I would sit there and imitate him with my own prayer book," Fr. Cook recalled. "My uncle was my Confirmation sponsor. He preached my first Mass. He is a really great priest. He is the one who gave me a love for the Divine Office and a love of prayer.
"I always say that the reason that I am a priest is because of the Mass," Fr. Cook told me. "As a four-year-old, I started 'playing' Mass. That initial attraction never went away. The priesthood is not just about helping people, not just about counseling, or helping the poor, although that is so very important. The priesthood is about the Mass, and about confessions as well."
When Fr. Cook was a schoolboy in Austin, Minnesota, he moved beyond just "playing" Mass.
"I couldn't wait to serve Mass in the parish. I wanted to be some of the normal things kids want to be when they grow up, but never, ever did I lose the desire to be a priest," Fr. Cook told me. "When I was in seventh and eighth grade, I served Mass every day.
Fr. Cook told me that he sees a lot of irony in that now, in his role as the Associate Director of Vocations for his diocese.
"All of these things that I do in my life as a vocation director I never did: I never went to a vocation camp for junior high boys, or dinners or retreats for young men discerning vocations. Fr. Cook stated. "For me it was never, 'Let me think about it some more and get back to you.'"
Throughout his childhood, Fr. Cook, the oldest of four siblings in his family, said that his parents, whom he calls "the best supportive parents ever," did not try to influence him one way or another about his vocation.
Fr. Cook attended Immaculate Heart of Mary College Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, and earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy.
No one in my family has ever had a passport,'" Fr. Cook said with a laugh.
In 2001, Fr. Cook was made pastor of two rural parishes situated nine miles apart in south central Minnesota. He is the only priest at both parishes.
"When the Bishop told me that I was to become the pastor of these two parishes, I didn't want to go. Notice the pattern. This is serious business. Now I don't want to leave," Fr. Cook said.
October is my context for talking about the difficult issues," Fr. Cook explained.
"I know there are some people who say, 'Oh it's October again,' and deliberately decide not to come, but most people are interested, or at least curious enough, to show up and hear what I have to say," Fr. Cook stated.
When it comes to making a healthy parish life, Fr. Cook's priorities are clear.

St. James Parish [cached]

Pastor: Father Thomas Cook

Father Tom Cook

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Father Thomas Cook Pastor:

Father Tom Cook

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