This heartfelt letter to FLORIDA TODAY, written by TCHP  founder and current board member Bob Barnes, appeared on Jan 6, 2021 in tribute to Father Eamon Tobin of Ascension Catholic Church. Father Tobin was not just a wonderful spiritual leader in our community, he was also a strong supporter of TCHP, ensuring that many children were blessed due to his congregation’s ongoing support of our mission.

God is now blessed with his company

I am saddened beyond words to learn of the passing of Father Eamon Tobin. To me he was more than the leader of a gracious and generous congregation; he was a supporter of kids. I have often said that if you love my kids, then I love you. He loved the hungry kids supported by The Children’s Hunger Project and I will be eternally grateful for how he showed that love.

Father Tobin allowed me to speak at five services at Ascension. In his Irish brogue, he told a packed Sunday morning worship service, “Here we are in a Catholic Church about to be addressed by a nice Jewish man. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” The congregation roared with approval and tolerated my speech on hunger in Brevard County. With that intro, how could they not?  More importantly, though, this wonderful congregation donated a very significant amount of money to help feed our kids.

Although not a member of his congregation, I feel blessed to have known Father Tobin.

Bob Barnes, West Melbourne

Editor’s note: Barnes is the founder of The Children’s Hunger Project.