21 Jun Faith at Work – June 2022
If you’ve been around our Houma-Thibodaux Diocese for some time, then our next “Faith at Work” featured priest will likely be no stranger to you — Father Wilmer Todd! If you’ve met him, you’ve likely noticed Fr. Todd’s tall stature, warm nature, or wide smile, but what you may not know is just how much Fr. Todd has done, and continues to do for our diocese — both behind the scenes, and at the forefront: still serving our diocese today, with 58 years of priesthood under his belt.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Fr. Todd went to seminary in high school at St. Benedict in Covington, and then to Notre Dame in New Orleans. He was then ordained a priest in 1963, and has spent the entirety of his time as a priest within the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. During these years, Fr. Todd wore many hats — he once served as a school counselor, he served as principal at both Holy Cross Elementary and Central Catholic High School, and was the pastor at multiple parishes throughout the diocese. In 2007, Fr. Todd retired from St. Genevieve, but in 2014, he came out of retirement when he was named pastor of St. Joseph in Chauvin for three years. Today, he is the chaplain at St. Joseph Manor in Thibodaux.
But Fr. Todd’s impact reaches far beyond the students, families, and parishioners he spent his many years with. Behind the scenes, Fr. Todd did, and continues to, work diligently to serve the people of our diocese. He has committed his life not only to serving our community through continued priestly ministry, but also by ensuring the advancement of religious-ministry continues on.
Years ago, Fr. Todd partnered with our Foundation to create a long-term, endowed, donor advised fund. His vision for this fund is to support grants towards church parishes in Catholic schools within the diocese for new initiatives and projects, and already, we’ve seen his vision come to life. Even in his “retirement,” Fr. Todd regularly gifts his retirement stipends and payments for parish duties — generously giving more than $20,000 a year on average to new programs and initiatives in our diocese! It is through his generosity that many of our church parishes have had new programs, such as advanced technology in the classroom, new music ministry at church, new benches for mass on the grass during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a multitude of other innovative ways to engage people in their faith.
Through his work with our Catholic Foundation, he has created not only a living legacy, but a legacy that will live in perpetuity in support of new initiatives and projects for many years after him. When asked about his work with the Foundation, Fr. Todd shared, “I have had an excellent relationship with the Catholic Foundation. The purpose of my fund with the Foundation is to provide startup grants to ministries in a church parish or a Catholic school within the boundaries of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux for spiritual, social justice and charitable programs or educational programs with some element of one or more of the three aforementioned areas. The staff has been very helpful to me and my board in carrying out the purpose of the fund.”
Like Fr. Todd, you can easily define your own personal family legacy for your favorite ministry and nonprofit through the Catholic Foundation. We encourage you to pray about how your desires today can be supported long into the future in perpetuity through the Catholic Foundation. For a confidential conversation please feel free to reach out to our Executive Director, Amy Ponson, at email@example.com or by phone at 985-850-3116.
Thank you Father Todd, for committing your life, knowledge, and being to our diocese — we are so incredibly grateful for all that you have done, and we look forward to creating even more legacies with you in the years to come.