Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - August 24

Dear Parishioners:

We welcome all who are with us at the beginning of the new School Year.  To all returning: welcome back.  To all newcomers: Welcome to St. Timothy! We are glad you are here.

Welcome is the theme of the month.  God welcomes us into His Family through the Church and the Sacramental Life we share.  We are to respond to the welcome we have received by being welcoming to others.

According to the speaker Matthew Kelly, whose books many have read, there are four characteristics of Dynamic Catholics that are the sign of their real involvement in the life of the Catholic Church: Prayer, Study, Generosity and Evangelism.  Dynamic Catholic are those who pray, study the Faith, are generous with their time, talent and treasure, and who share their Faith intentionally with others.  How do you rate?  This is not something that anyone else needs to measure.  You can discover it within your own person.

Do you prayer more than perfunctory prayers?  Do you have a place for prayer in your home?  Do you participate in the daily and weekly rhythm of the Prayer of the Church?  Is prayer something that you do as a regular part of your life?

Have you come to realize the riches of the Catholic Faith?  Do you study Scripture, Tradition and the ongoing teaching of the Church?  Do you know the Saints and the writings of spiritual authors through the ages?

How generous are you?  Do you tithe your resources, giving to God His due before you make use of time, talent and treasure for your own benefit?  Do you put your money where your Faith is?

Have you begun to speak of your Faith to others in your family and beyond?  Who has come to know about Jesus Christ through you?

Please read through the bulletin and discover how you can strive in our parish to become more dynamic in your practice of the Faith.  Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and your family to witness the Faith more truly.

As many of you know, this week I passed a landmark in my own life’s journey, reaching the age of 55.  That means I am now old enough to be considered and “elder.”  Thanks to all who have sent cards and birthday wishes.  God bless you!

2014 Young Catholic Woman of the Year:
Maya Steller of
St. Timothy Church
with Dr. Kathy Lutter, 2012 Catholic Woman of the Year
and President of St. Timothy Women’s Club
We are very pleased to announce that our own Maya Steller was chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Young Catholic Woman of the Year award for the Diocese of Columbus.  Maya and her family were present at a banquet Sunday August 17 along with Bishop Campbell and many women throughout the Diocese of Columbus.  We congratulate her and thank her for her witness.  St. Timothy Parish is proud of Maya and all those who work to build up the Kingdom.
A Stewardship Challenge

A family in St. Timothy Parish who learned of our deficit in Stewardship for the past couple of years has volunteered to donate $25,000 to offset expenses for the 2013-2014 fiscal  year and to move us toward being current with our bills.  They suggest that other parishioners may be willing to donate to Parish Stewardship – funds for our ordinary needs in the life of the parish.  Are you willing to take up the challenge?  Your extra gift to Stewardship in response to this challenge would be gratefully accepted.  Meeting this anonymous donation with an equal amount would help a lot!  Mark your envelope with “Stewardship Challenge” or make an online gift at .  Thank you!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - August 17

Dear Parishioners:

Faith is meant to be shared.  “I believe in God” is a statement of a relationship that has consequences.  It is not something private.  It is not a matter of taste or preference.  It is a commitment that requires a movement that takes place both in the heart and in the world.  “I believe” is an act of trust in the Power that is behind the very existence of the universe and in the Grace that transforms the “stuff” of this world into the substance of the world to come.

As we prepare to enter into a new year of School and a new season of Religious education, I invite you and your family to make a new act of Faith together.  Let God be truly the Lord of your life.  Change your priorities.  Review where you have been in regard to practice of your Faith.  Remember where we are all headed.  And choose to be true to your Profession of Faith.  Does every member of your family know that your family belongs to God first?

We have a church building.  All of us are expected to be there together at the very least once a week (for Sunday Mass), sometimes twice depending on the timing of Holy Days of Obligation.  We have a school building and parish center where most of the community spends at least a few days a week for education and recreation.  A third dimension of our life together happens here and there, but not necessarily with much intentionality:  the reality of Catechesis, the process by which the Faith we profess is incorporated into the fabric of our lives.  In the months and years ahead, we will be giving more attention to this aspect of our life together.

"Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways." (General Directory for Catechesis #105)

As a Parish Family, we are called to Worship, to Education, and to Catechesis with and beyond our community.  The Good Shepherd will lead us as we seek to follow Him.  Let us together discover how our act of Faith is meant to change the world.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - August 10

Dear Parishioners:

This past week  (August 4th),  my father, Thomas Hayes, celebrated his 80th Birthday.  My family was gathered together at Myrtle Beach for a bit of vacation.  I made plans to join them for the birthday and so took a few days this week to be away.  Time with family is important and so I am glad to have the chance to connect with my family on such occasions.  Growing up with a big family we never used to have the opportunity to go very far.   In those days, we either had “staycations,” long before the term came into use, or we went only as far as Pittsburgh to spend time with family there.

Preparations for being away and ensuring that everything is covered while I am gone is a challenge.  Let this be my thank you to all of you who step up to cover details in my absence:  to Fr. Bill for taking care of the daily Masses and to all who assist in any way.  I will be relying on you again, I am sure!

This week, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I always delight in this Feast.   It offers us a vision of hope in a world that can forget our high destiny.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a human being.  Her cooperation with the graces offered to her opened for us the way to salvation and the gift of a Living Relationship with God beyond anything we could ever have ask for.  The privileges and graces she received are a foretaste and promise of what God has in store for all those who love Him.  The Lord’s gift to Mary is a reminder that the Resurrection of Jesus has made a difference in our human nature itself.  Assumed into glory with her Son, Mary is given a share in the Resurrection, showing us that God can do for us what He has promised.  May we open our hearts to the action of His grace as He calls us to glory.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - August 3

Dear Parishioners:

 We have had some wonderful experiences of Faith lately in our parish.  Last weekend, our Summer Seminarian Intern, T.J. Lehigh led a group of parishioners in an experience of the New Evangelization, taking the Message of the Gospel into our neighborhoods.  On the Feast of St. Martha this past Tuesday, a group of parishioners gathered to share discussion about the Spiritual Life, speaking with each other out of their wealth of experience of life in the Lord.

Our world is in a state of crisis.  We are called as Christians and Catholics to be concerned about the state of the world and to do what we can to make a difference.  Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, suggested that “the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.  Faith is not crazy, but it does involve a way of thinking that the world rejects as foolish.

The Gospel is God’s response to our human needs.  It invites us to live with our eyes set on the goal, the prize beyond anything this world can offer.  Faith is our capacity to respond to the Gospel with our whole persons.  Now is the time to step out in Faith.

As we enter another month and move toward Fall, begin to consider how you will live this next year differently than last.  Are you ready to make a difference in the world by making a change in your own exercise of your Faith?  Our world is hungering for the Gospel.  Jesus invites you to “Give them something to eat yourselves.”

St. Timothy Parish Door-to-Door New Evangelization Club July 27, 2014
Back Row:  T.J. Lehigh, Ryan Fisher, Karen McGirty, Larry Lorms, Kathy Spyker, Mark Gideon, Nancy Schell, Chris Yakkel 
Front Row: Ellen Miller, Lea Guarasci, Edna Whitacre, Dolores McGroarty 
Not Pictured: Judy Lorms, Dr. Kathy Lutter

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - July 27

Dear Parishioners:

Have you begun to know the Scriptures?  We Catholics have a reputation for not knowing the Bible.  Often, former members who choose to leave us and to attend other churches tell us that they did not learn anything about the Bible in the Catholic Church.  This is an indictment against us that we have to take seriously.  As an institution, we have to do a better job of communicating the Scriptures to our people.  As individuals and families, we need to take responsibility for our own education and study the Scriptures personally.

Here are some simple facts about the Bible from the Catholic point of view:

  • The Church herself wrote the Bible through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and established the canon of the Bible (that is, the list of Books included in the Bible).  God is the Author of the Bible and He used human beings with all their gifts and talents to accomplish His purpose; the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Bible guided the Church to identify those texts that are in the Bible.
  • The text of Scripture was preserved by the work of scribes and monks in Judaism and in Christianity who devoted themselves to making these sacred writings available across the generations.
  • Through the centuries, the living teaching authority of the Church (Pope and Bishops) have assisted the members of the Church to interpret the Scriptures and to understand their meaning in regard to the salvation God gives us through Christ.
  • The whole life of the Church today is marked by the Scriptures: Daily prayer (the Liturgy of the Hours), the Sacraments, and every Mass.
At St. Timothy Church, Bibles are available in every pew.  We have a weekly Bible Study on Tuesday mornings.  Many opportunities for learning Scripture are available.

My reason for offering this reminder about the centrality of Scripture this weekend is that the first reading from the Sunday Mass has been a significant guide for my life.  While I was in the Seminary, I was seeking a way to describe how God is at work in my spirit, how I am to respond to the All-Loving Provider and Listener I know God to be.  The prayer of Solomon for Wisdom was expressed as a request for a “lev shome‛a,” “a listening heart.”  At a certain Mass when that was proclaimed and the homilist spoke about it, I felt a kind of integration of my heart, an answer to may quest for my own “name” in God. 

So, I share with you one of my Scriptures, the heart of my prayer:  Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart . . . .  (I Kings 3:9)  Have you found your Scriptures?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - July 20

Dear Parishioners:

This weekend we have our annual Mission Appeal with the Diocese of Columbus Missionary Co-op.  This year we have been assigned Hands Together, an organization that works to address needs in Haiti.  Since our parish has already shown generosity to Haiti in a variety of ways, it is a good match.  During our Parish Jubilee, we helped a family by building a house in Haiti through our donations.  We also shared in a Medical Mission trip by sending needed supplies with a group who were going to Haiti.  Our neighbor, St. Agatha Parish, has been working with Hands Together, involving their entire parish and all its committees and organizations as a way of entering into a Spiritual Renewal.  I invite you to be generous in your response to the appeal.

We are grateful to all who were part of the Festival this year.  Countdown for next year has begun – July 10-11, 2015.  As we wrap-up this year’s details, let’s be sure to note down things to keep in mind for next year.  One hidden item that took place without much fanfare was setting up a table with information about the Catholic Faith.  T. J. Lehigh set it up just before the first night of the Festival began.  No one attended to the booth, which was in the church vestibule, but the materials on display disappeared.  Perhaps we can think about such a booth next year, with live participants to share our Faith with those who come to visit.

As you will notice, I am away this weekend (taking advantage of the presence of the Missionary priest).  I am attending a Golden Jubilee Celebration for a Holy Cross Sister I have known for many years, Sr. Paula Goettelmann, C.S.C.  She was one who prayed me through Seminary and who has been present for many of my own milestones in priestly life and ministry.  It is a joy to be there, at St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, as she and other Holy Cross Sisters are honored for their faithful service.  I will say a prayer for your at the Grotto at Notre Dame and give a nod to “Touchdown Jesus” for you as well.

Next weekend, T.J. Lehigh will be saying his farewell, even as he completes the major project for his summer assignment at St. Timothy, creating an opportunity for parishioners to share in the New Evangelization.  We are hopeful that many of you will make plans to take part next Sunday afternoon.  We are a welcoming parish family.  Let’s be sure our neighbors have heard from us!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - July 13

Dear Parishioners:

Thanks to all who are part of the St. Timothy Festival on the Green – Joe Lorenz and his team of captains, the Moms and Dads and Children of Parish and School who make it all happen, and all our guests.  You help to make it great!

What do you enjoy most about the St. Timothy Festival?  It is a time of fellowship and fun, a real builder of community.  Stories are told by every generation of our community.  When our alumni of School and Parish return to visit, this is something they remember with delight.  Since I have been present for seven festivals now, I have watched the interactions that happen and seen the power of such an event to forge bonds that are lasting.

We have such a wonderful sense of family at St. Timothy that we may be tempted to forget that there are many – even some among us – who do not experience a sense of welcome.  We may also forget that when God gives gifts, He expects a return on His investment.  How are we responding to the call to share what we have received?

As the Summer moves ahead, it is time to make plans for the Fall and for the next several years.  I want to suggest three areas of concentration: Prayer and Worship, Catechesis and Study, and Evangelization and Mission.  How we grow in these areas will decide our future.  If we allow ourselves to be moved by our own whims and by the cultural trends around us, we will lose ground quickly.  If we make a choice to commit to God and one another to grow in the active practice of our Faith and in our cooperation with the breath of God’s Spirit, we will become a true witness to Jesus Christ and His plan for the world.

Once you have had your fill of Festival pizza and fun and of the zeal of the St. Timothy community that accomplishes this task each year, you are invited to renew your decision to be a true disciple of the Lord.  Let zeal for God’s House consume you!