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LONG ISLAND: Former Porn Editor now involved in Mother and Child Ministry in Episcopal Church

LONG ISLAND: Former Porn Editor now involved in Mother and Child Ministry in Episcopal Church
No repentance reported from laid off Penthouse editor

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
April 8, 2017

Barbara Rice Thompson, 56, a former editor of Penthouse, an iconic pornographic magazine, has taken up a position as program director for a Mother and Child Ministry at a local Episcopal Church, with the blessing of the priest and LI Bishop, Lawrence Provenzano. She is a resident of North Wantagh.

She said she had spoken with the Rev. Christopher Hofer, the rector of the Church of St. Jude, about how she wanted to “give back on a more real level — other than providing porn.”

Thompson said that she became the program director because she believes in its mission.

When she learned that her church was working on opening a mission center at St. Michael and All Angels in Seaford, Rice Thompson said that she felt as if her prayers had been answered. One program — the Mother and Child Ministry — touched her, she told the Long Island Herald.

“My father was an aerospace engineer at the Grumman factory, and when I was about 10, he lost his job,” she recalled. “He was delivering newspapers on Sunday mornings and pumping gas on Saturday afternoons because he had five kids, and that’s what he had to do ... we were the family in church who was getting the Christmas basket.”

Rice Thompson said that she was looking forward to helping families in need at the new Mother and Child Ministry food pantry. Hofer said that Rice Thompson and 200 more volunteers had devoted hundreds of hours to establishing the center, which opened on March 2.

Wantagh and Seaford residents, community group leaders, locally elected officials and Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the center on Feb. 26. Days later, pantry volunteers opened the doors of St. Michael’s basement — now complete with shelves stacked with diapers, baby formula and food, bottles, shampoo, clothing and toys — to local mothers trying to provide for their youngsters, while living in expensive southeastern Nassau County, Hofer said.

Hofer, who has been at St. Jude since 2004, is also the vicar of St. Michael’s and the executive director of the mission center. He said that while he has wanted to establish a local outreach program since 2006, St. Jude — nestled in a residential area nearly two miles from the Wantagh Long Island Rail Road station — was not accessible to local folks in need without cars.

Hofer said that the mission center is supporting the first pantry geared specifically towards small children and their parents on Long Island. He noted that members of the advisory team, which began preparing to launch the Mother and Child Ministry in June, were called to help this marginalized group.

The Mother and Child Food Pantry is just one of the mission center programs. The Episcopal Ministries of Long Island awarded the church a $15,000 grant to establish the center.

Provenzano said that it’s clear that parishioners of St. Jude’s and St. Michael’s pay attention to their communities’ needs. Too often, he said, folks keep the lessons that they learn in church to themselves.

There is no record that Ms. Thompson repented of her former life, promoting smut for a generation of baby boomers for her boss “Bob” Guccione.

END

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