Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - January 25

Dear Parishioners:

The celebration of our Parish Patronal Feast on Monday, January 26, takes on a new meaning for me after my pilgrimage last year to the final resting place of St. Timothy, the Disciple of St. Paul.  As you may recall, just before the Canonization of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, our pilgrim group spent time at Termoli, a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy.  The Cathedral there is dedicated to the Presentation of the Child Jesus and has the earthly remains of two saints: Saint Basso, a martyr, and Saint Timothy, the Disciple of St. Paul the Apostle.  On several occasions during our time there, I went to pray personally at the tomb of Timothy, often early in the morning before we went out on our day’s adventures.  It felt right just to be there.  You were with me in a special way.  I even gave out holy cards of our statue of St. Timothy from our Golden Jubilee to some of the local folks who were there praying or cleaning the church and I asked them to pray for us.



The realization of Saint Timothy as our patron and my personal patron has grown in my time here at Saint Timothy Church.  So also has my understanding of the importance of Evangelization and Catechesis in the life of a parish continued to deepen.  We are not living up to our responsibility as disciples of the Lord if we are not putting these tasks at the center.  We are not following the example of our Heavenly Patron if we do not move these activities to the core of all we do.  We are not just a group that happens to be together; we are a community of disciples entrusted with a responsibility.

This year is declared by Pope Francis as the Year of Consecrated Life.   We are also observing it as a time of preparation for the Visit of Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.  In the context of this year, I entrust to you and all who are part of St. Timothy Parish and School this prayer:  “That the families of St. Timothy Church may deepen their response to the call of the Good Shepherd and grow in practice of the Catholic Faith in the Parish and in their Homes.”  We will focus our common efforts this year on Prayer as families, Catechesis of all our members, and Sharing the Gospel in practical ways by the witness of our family life.


I urge, invite, implore, ask, plead, beg, beseech and pray all of you to follow where the Good Shepherd leads us.  This is a heartfelt plea that comes to you from the depths of my spirit.  I am dedicating all I am to this responsibility and we need to be of one mind and heart.  Open your heart to me and to St. Timothy Church, and to all who are part of your life in a new way.  Like Timothy, our Patron, be willing to go into places and ways unfamiliar to you.  Can you hear me?  The Good Shepherd is showing us in dramatic ways that He has something new in store for us that will take us to greener pastures.  He is also asking for a new commitment from each of us as individuals, as families and as a parish family.  Please pray:  “That the families of St. Timothy Church may deepen their response to the call of the Good Shepherd and grow in practice of the Catholic Faith in the Parish and in their Homes.” 


Pilgrimage to Turin and other Sacred Sites in the Year of the Shroud

A meeting will be held on Sunday, January 25th, following the noon Mass at St. Timothy Church, to share news about a Pilgrimage with Fr. Timothy Hayes, Pastor, to holy sites in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, May 4th-15th, 2015. Included will be Fatima, Lourdes, Avignon, and many historic places in the lives of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross & St. Ignatius of Loyola. A visit to the Cathedral of Turin that houses the Holy Shroud, on display in 2015 for a rare public viewing, will climax this spiritual journey. Cost, $3539.00 includes r/t air from Columbus, lodging, transportation by deluxe motor coach, taxes & most meals.

For further information call Judy Lorms of Mary’s Pilgrims at 670-8626,
or email judylorms@gmail.com.  You may also visit online for the Itinerary at http://www.timothymhayes.net/2015Pilgrimage/Itinerary.pdf  and the Application at http://www.timothymhayes.net/2015Pilgrimage/Application.pdf. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - January 18

Dear Parishioners:

This weekend’s Second Collection is our annual collection for the Propagation of the Faith.  This is the Church’s Missionary effort, inviting us to assist materially in the project of taking the Gospel to the nations.  Pope Francis is also challenging us to take up the charge very personally, seeking to share our joy in the Gospel in practical ways so as to lead others to Jesus.  We are meant to be people who share our Faith.

The news is full of ways in which religion is misused to create division and to cause harm.  Our Faith is often ridiculed and rejected because of misunderstandings concerning its meaning.  At times, the truths we share are distorted and made to appear as something less than compassion. 

The reality of our Faith is that it is given the capacity to bridge the greatest gap of all – the distance between God and human beings.  Our Faith tells us that God took the initiative and became one of us in the Person of Jesus Christ.  When we are open to this profound revelation, we become God’s own instruments of continuing to share the Life He offers.

I invite you to allow the Spirit to lead you and your family to a greater depth in your practice of the Faith.  Let this be a year of growth in grace.  Here are some practical ideas:

  • Find a way to pray together as a family: the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Reading of Scripture together, or some other devotion you share. 
  • “Decorate” your home so that anyone who comes in will realize that Jesus lives there with you as a true member of your family.  Consider signing up to be host to the Pilgrim Statue of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, sponsored by the St. Timothy Women’s Club. 
  • Make a list of people you will pray for and invite personally to consider sharing Faith.  Become a practical missionary, leading others to share friendship with Jesus.
  • Begin to prepare for the World Meeting of Families and the Visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia.  Do you and your family want to be representatives of St. Timothy Parish on this historic occasion?


Let us be a people who draw others to Faith to and the joy that only Jesus can give.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - January 11 Baptism of the Lord

Dear Parishioners:

For the last time today, we can say “Merry Christmas!” as our Liturgical celebration of the Season of Christmas comes to its close.  Ordinary Time begins tomorrow.  Lent is coming and will arrive Ash Wednesday, February 18.

Christmas is a time of generosity.  I want to thank you all for the generous spirit you have shown in so many ways during this time.  All who welcomed our guests and made them feel at home showed the best of St. Timothy.  Gifts of time and talent were evident in all the Masses of Christmas as well as the other events that have taken place during this time.  Now that the New Year has begun, we invite everyone to renew a commitment to live in accord with our Parish Mission.

United in the Body of Christ, we strive to promote the greater glory of God
through a spirit of welcome and willing service to our brothers and sisters
.”

In addition to gifts of time and talent, we have also received many gifts of treasure as well.  I am very pleased to report that the generosity of a few parishioners has served to cover the deficit we reported for our Parish in the Fiscal Year 2013-2014.  We reported that we were in deficit about $35,000.00.  Special gifts designated to cover that deficit have been made directly to the Parish and we are most grateful!

The challenge remains, of course, not to fall into a deficit for the current fiscal year (2014-2015).  Once we manage to catch up, we want to make sure that we don’t fall into the same hole!  As suggested, a raise in donation of $2.00 per contributing family would manage this challenge if we can keep spending in the same range as last year.  New contributions by families who have not been regularly participating in Stewardship would also be helpful.

In the course of this year, we plan to continue our project of developing a catechetical center that will benefit everyone in the community directly in the task of growing in understanding of our Faith.  We are also reviewing the needs of the parish and school that have been highlighted in the past several months and will discern which ones we can hope to address in the near future.


Plans to welcome Pope Francis to our country and to respond to the Church’s call to the New Evangelization are at the top of the agenda we will cover this year.  How are you entering into the New Year?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - January 4, 2015 Epiphany

Dear Parishioners:

Jesus Christ is the Savior of all.  The Solemnity of the Epiphany is a moment to acknowledge and celebrate that God’s Plan of Salvation, the Mystery, as St. Paul calls it, has been revealed in Christ and that it is intended for all humanity.  Those who have known God through their history and those have yet to meet Him through the proclamation of the Gospel are all in God’s Plan.

We who know Jesus have a responsibility to live in accord with our Friendship with Him.  We are called by the Gospel to make known what has been revealed.  This is not a simple matter of telling the story in words.  Rather, it is putting the Gospel into practice so that our very lives make Christ known.  If we are true to our calling, others will want to meet Christ because they will see in us a kind of Joy that is different from every other human experience.

In all things but Faith, we are like everyone else.  Through Faith, all that we are and all that we have is taken up into Christ.  We become members of the Body of Christ, the Church, and our witness invites others to join.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh are the gifts of the Magi to the Christ Child.  They represent all that we have to offer: material wealth, worship, and sacrifice.  When we give ourselves over to Jesus and acknowledge Him as our Savior, we become something new.  Glory is in us and there is a light shining for the world.

As we enter into a new year, may our life together be a beacon of hope for those we encounter.  I invite you and your family to commit to Jesus as Savior in a deeper way.  Let Him have your heart.  Invite Him into your home.  Open your life to Him as you continue your own pilgrimage on earth so that one day you may be one with Him and all the members of His Body in Heaven.  May we who worship together at St. Timothy Church begin to form a new Catholic culture that serves to bring others to Jesus.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - December 28 Feast of the Holy Family

Dear Parishioners:

The Solemnity of the Holy Family is a wonderful reminder that God is with us in our world just as it is.  There are times we can have the impression that God does not understand or that He is beyond the reach of the ordinary.  Remembering the simple fact that Jesus lived family life with Joseph and Mary in Nazareth for most of His years on earth, we can come to grasp the profound and yet simple truth that God is with us here and now, right where we are.

The Family is God’s way of expressing among us the Unity of the Trinity, the Relationships shared among the Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  As the fundamental building block of society, the family is in need of attention, both at the level of those who live in it and in society at large.  We are living in a time that de-values family and fights against it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  We have to be on our guard and to watch how we respond to the challenges given to family life.

Generations are meant to be together and to share wisdom across the years.  In our time, families are often divided by a multiplicity of activities.  More insidiously, they are  often separated by attitudes of disrespect and an unwillingness to listen.  Parents need the wisdom and example offered by their own parents as they seek to raise their children and to share fundamental values with them.  When was the last time you really listened to what your children’s grandparents told you about what your children need from you?

In our time, family life is disrupted by overly busy schedules and by endless activities that take them away from home.  Meals are perfunctory at best.  Time spent just being with one another without interruptions by gadgets, games and technology is at a premium. 

Did you hear the one about the little boy who asked his Dad how much money he made in an hour?  When told $50 dollars an hour, the boy checked his pockets and found $3 in change.  He asked his Dad to borrow $47.  His Dad was surprised at the odd amount, but decided to give it to his son.  The son added his own change to what his Dad had just given him, and handed it back to his father, saying, “Can I buy an hour of your time?”

After the Masses today, we will be celebrating individual family blessings.  All are invited to receive the blessing as a family and to take it home with you.  Let’s work together this year to establish homes and families that welcome Jesus, Mary and Joseph to serve as their model.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - December 25 Christmas

2014 has seen many wonderful things in the life or our Parish and School.  St. Timothy School, which opened its doors to students first in the academic year 1963-64, concluded its celebration of the School’s Golden Jubilee in June.  Highlights of the Year were a Mass with Bishop Frederick F. Campbell in May (postponed from January due to weather) and a special dinner for all members of the School Community.  The students and staff celebrated all year in style.

Several members of St. Timothy Parish were part of a pilgrimage in April to visit the final resting place of our Patron Saint Timothy in Termoli, Italy, and to be present in Rome for the Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.  These served as a reminder that we are part of a Church that extends through history and across the world, sharing in the same Faith that has been handed down to us by the Apostles and under the guidance of their successors.  As a Parish, we look forward to Pope Francis’ visit to our nation next Fall for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

At the present time, we hear the call of the Good Shepherd to renew and deepen our understanding of the Catholic Faith and to develop resources as a Parish and a School to respond to the New Evangelization.   Efforts are underway to develop the space set aside for future growth in our new building for a Catechetical Center that will benefit the whole community, Parish and School, youth and adults.  Our hope and our dream is to see a new plan unfold in the creation of the Saint Timothy Good Shepherd Catechetical Center.  All are invited to walk with us in response to the Gospel and to respond to the call of our Shepherd as He guides us in the ways of Faith.

A Blessed Christmas to All!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Word from Your Pastor - December 21 Fourth Sunday of Advent

Dear Parishioners:

Are you ready for Christmas?  No doubt you have been asked this question many times, and it causes a bit of panic because you have to say that you are not ready.  Have you ever stopped to realize that the world was not ready for the first Christmas?  As every Christmas pageant you will ever see tells you: “there was no room for them in the inn.”  Preparation for Christmas really is not about the Christmas cards and decorations.  It is not about the Christmas tree or the lights.  It is not about the presents and lists of gifts for family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.  It is really about making room for Jesus and His Family in your heart and in your home.

How do you welcome Jesus into your home?  Is your family life centered on a living relationship with the Baby born in Bethlehem Who is our Savior, Christ the Lord?  Are you giving Him time in your busy schedule?

Be sure not to rush through Christmas.  Let the Season begin for you as Advent ends on Christmas Eve.  Celebrate from December 24-25 all the way through Epiphany (January 4 this year) until the Baptism of the Lord (January 11), which is the official close of the Christmas Season.  If you are strong, hold onto it a full 40 days after Christmas until the Solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2).  Let there be room for the Truth of Christmas.

As we enter into a year of preparation for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015 in Philadelphia, let us work to be a true Family as a Parish.  May your own family grow together in Faith and Grace.  Next weekend, the Feast of the Holy Family, we will have blessings of all individual families after Mass.  Come as a family and come forward to receive the blessing for you and for your home.
 
All are invited to make plans to attend the Masses of
Christmas Eve - 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
and Christmas Day - 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

In case you have not realized this before – the Masses of Christmas Day are often the lightest in attendance. If you want to experience the quiet joy of Christmas, come to Mass on Christmas Day! We suggest that as many as possible consider coming to the Masses on Christmas Day­ - putting Mass back into Christ-mas on the Day as well.

Ministers are asked to come ready to serve in their ministries in case they are needed. Ushers and Greeters are especially needed for the earlier Masses on Christmas Eve.

Next weekend, the Solemnity of the Holy Family, we will offer individual family blessings after all Masses. Bring your whole clan together to received a blessing and carry it out into the world.

We wish a Blessed Christmas to all of you and your loved ones.