Date of death: 1/5/2019
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1982
Father Thomas James Craig kept the various diplomas he earned in a box, but he framed his baptismal certificate and displayed it in his office. ôThatÆs the only one that counts,ö he explained to visitors.The kind, humble man who served 36 years as a priest for the Diocese of Fort Worth died at the age of 66 on Jan. 5 after a brief illness.Fr. Craig will lie in state at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home, 702 8th Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8.A vigil is scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 5819 W. Pleasant Ridge Road in Arlington.Bishop Michael Olson will preside at a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul, where Fr. Craig served as pastor for 15 years. Internment is planned for St. MichaelÆs Cemetery in Henrietta at a later date.Fr. Craig will be remembered for being a gentle, compassionate pastor and a dedicated mission worker.Many longtime St. Vincent de Paul parishioners remembered that Fr. Craig was very generous with his time, dropping anything to visit the sick or to comfort someone during a difficult time.As pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, Fr. Craig joined the parishÆs mission work in Olancho, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch. His passion for mission work grew, and he became the chairman of the Diocesan Mission Council in 2011. In 2016, Fr. Craig became the full-time Director of the Propagation of the Faith and Director of the Diocesan Mission Council.Born on May 25, 1952 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Tom was the oldest of nine children of Louise and James Craig.At age 6, the family moved to Wichita Falls, where he was a member of Sacred Heart Parish. He graduated from Notre Dame Catholic School in 1970, then enrolled at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.In 1973, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves and served for six years while continuing his education at Tarrant County Junior College, where he earned an associateÆs degree in electronics technology in 1975.In 1978, he was admitted to study for the priesthood by the Diocese of Fort Worth and enrolled at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He was ordained a deacon in 1981 and assigned to St. Ann Parish in Burleson. Upon his graduation from seminary, he returned to St. Ann for his priestly ordination on June 26, 1982.Fr. Craig served as associate pastor at St. Philip Parish in Lewisville until 1986, when he was assigned as pastor to the parishes of Jesus of Nazareth in Albany, Sacred Heart of Jesus in Breckenridge, St. Boniface in Dodson Prairie, St. Francis of Assisi in Graford, and San Patricio in Throckmorton.He also served as pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Carrollton and Sacred Heart Parish in Muenster.Fr. Craig is preceded in death by his father James Prescott Craig, nephew Joseph Thomas Craig, and niece Holly Victoria McBride. He is survived by his loving mother, Louise Elizabeth (Barrick), five brothers: John Craig (Margie), Paul Craig (Connie), Donald Craig (Karen), Daniel Craig (Tracey), Christopher Craig (Shari) and three sisters: Judy Koetter (David), Julia McBride (Joe) and Maryellen Burns (Andy), two goddaughters: Katherine Phennell, and Rachel Buckley, 25 nieces and nephews, and 24 great nieces and nephews.