Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - March 1 Lent II

Dear Parishioners:

The human being is intended by God to experience Glory.  This is part of God’s salvific will for all of us.  We are to be sharers in Divine Life and in Jesus Christ we see Divine Life lived humanly.  The Transfiguration of Jesus in the presence of His most intimate disciples, Peter, James and John, is a revelation of the Glory that is in Him, experience in His humanity just a short time before His Passion and Death.  It serves as a reminder that God is alive in us, present in our world and at the very core of our being.  A glimpse of Glory is a source of strength that frees us to endure whatever happens in the world due to our limitations, whether caused by mere human weakness or by our choice of sin.  God can accomplish in us more than we can ever ask or imagine.

As we continue our journey through Lent, we are invited to seek the Glory of God above all else.  All our decisions and choices must put God first.  When we come to realize all that we are considering more important than God, we must become humble and ask to see the world as God sees it.

The Transfiguration was an intimate moment of prayer for Jesus, as He meets Moses and Elijah to converse about what is going to happen to Him.  He chose to share this moment with His closest disciples, knowing full well that they would not yet grasp its meaning.  As they go down the mountain, after this truly “peak” experience, He tells them not to speak about it until after the Resurrection.  Only then will understanding dawn on them.  Much of our lives is like that.  We only understand after we have lived what God offers.

May we open our hearts to accept the grace and the tastes of Glory that God gives to us through Jesus Christ.  May our hearts be ready to respond to the Love that calls us to walk the journey to Calvary with Jesus so that the world may come to know the salvation that is ours through Him.

A Word from Your Pastor - February 22 Lent I

Dear Parishioners:

The Temptation of Jesus is a sobering reality.  As St. Mark puts it, Jesus remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” Following this experience, He came out of the Desert with the First Proclamation of the Gospel. This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Encounter with God involves meeting both the beast and the angel.  At times, this may be outside ourselves.  But we must also admit that within our own hearts are the earth-bound and the vision of Eternity. 

Native Americans tell the story of two wolves:  An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...  "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. 

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 
"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."

Jesus’ response to this battle going on inside and outside of us is to confront it in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The move of the Spirit leads us then to go beyond where we have been, to seek fulfillment in a living relationship with God, acknowledging His rule over us.  God must be first in our lives or we are not on the road to the Kingdom.  We must repent, that is, change our minds, re-think, see from God’s perspective rather than the way the world sees.  The Gospel tells us that the world is destined for more, for something greater, for something beyond our imagining.

As we journey through Lent, may we face temptation with courage and learn to trust more fully in the grace of God to see us through.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - February 15

Dear Parishioners:

Lent is coming!  This Wednesday, we will enter into a time of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.  It is meant to be a time of opening our hearts more and more to God’s grace so that we surrender to His action in our lives.

I invite you to decide to live the best Lent ever this year.  Choose as an individual and as a family to center all your activities on your relationship with Jesus. 

Pray.  Pick up the Rosary.  Do a Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Read the Bible.  Memorize prayers of your favorite Saint.  Attend Stations of the Cross with your family.  Spend time on Wednesday for Adoration.  Go to a daily Mass once a week as well as Sunday Mass.

Fast.  Go ahead and give up chocolate or some other favorite food this year.  Turn off the television or your favorite gadget.  Change how you respond to daily frustrations.  Open your mind and heart to a different way of thinking.

Give Alms.  Increase your stewardship for the Season of Lent.  Pick a new charity that needs your support.  Spend time with someone who would be lifted up by your presence.  Give of yourself in a way that costs you personally.

Ask the Lord to make known to you how to live this Lent.

Catholic Lenten Regulations
1) Abstinence on all the Fridays of Lent, and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

  • No meat may be eaten on days of abstinence.
  • Catholics 14 years and older are bound to abstain from meat. Invalids, pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt.

2) Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

  • Fasting means having only one full meal to maintain one's strength. Two smaller, meatless and penitential meals are permitted according to one's needs, but they should not together equal the one full meal. Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
  • Catholics from age 18 through age 59 are bound to fast. Again, invalids, pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - February 8

Dear Parishioners:

This past week I was present at the deathbed of Msgr. Thomas Bender, a priest of the Diocese of Columbus.  He had asked me to serve as his Power of Attorney and other roles in case of need.  He was the last Pastor I had as Associate Pastor, when I served at St. Joan of Arc Parish 1993-1995.  He was a gentle soul, a loving shepherd of his flock.  He helped me in my priesthood to see Parish as a Family.  It was truly a privilege to accompany him in this final journey.  May he rest in peace and may the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.  His funeral Mass will take place Wednesday, February 11, and I have been asked to preach the homily.  Please keep me in your prayers as I take up this responsibility.

Being present to “Father Tom” and being able to offer him the Sacramental touches that the Church supplies in preparation for death brought home to me several things.  First, the Catholic Church has something to offer that really does serve to “take us home” to God.  The prayers and the Sacraments are strength and consolation for those who receive them and for those who have the privilege to administer them.  Second, all the other matters that cause us distress in Time truly fade into the background when we keep Eternity in mind.  Third, the Lord is truly faithful to those who love Him.

A number of families in our parish are experiencing similar moments in the lives of loved ones.  Many have lost members of their families and some are now facing illnesses that will soon call them to the Kingdom.  We are invited to put our trust in the Good Shepherd Who will lead us to green pastures, both in Time and in Eternity.  We keep these members in our prayers and ask them to carry awareness of our needs to God as they go forth from this life.

If you have family members in need of the Sacraments, please let us know.  Anointing of the Sick is available at any time for those facing a serious illness, surgery, or the burdens of age.  The Last Anointing includes special prayers and an opportunity to renew Baptismal Vows.  Reconciliation as death approaches includes Absolution with the Apostolic Pardon, a special blessing at the end of life.  The formal “Last Rite” is the final reception of Eucharist, called Viaticum, “Food for the journey.”  Often priests offer those approaching death “the triple-A treatment”: Absolution, Apostolic Pardon and Anointing.

Don’t miss out on everything that the Church has to offer.  Catholics are truly blessed to know the love of the Good Shepherd so personally through these consoling Sacraments.  Every Mass we attend and every Hail Mary we pray throughout our lives is present in the hour of our death.

This Sunday, we welcome Bishop Campbell for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  May the Holy Spirit guide our newly confirmed and their families to live the Catholic Faith fully, as disciples of the Good Shepherd.  May their lives be a sign of the Joy of the Gospel and a witness to all of the truth of our Faith.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Word from Your Pastor - February 1

A Word from Your Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This week, I have just one short message, which was presented at the Parish Council Meeting this past week:

  “In the simplest terms possible, I have to say
 that I believe Jesus, the Good Shepherd,
is asking me as your Pastor to lead St. Timothy Parish
to place Catechesis at the center of our life as Parish and School,
and that the project we are engaged in comes not from me or anyone else
but from the Good Shepherd Himself. The timing is His, not ours.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will develop full plan
in concert with all who are interested in helping.
The Diocese of Columbus has given us approval to seek funding
and to begin to make more concrete plans;
they will guide us along to ensure that the project does not interfere
with all that a parish and a school must accomplish.

We will plan to have Town Hall Meetings to discuss the plans for developing the St. Timothy Good Shepherd Catechetical Center on Wednesday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. (following Ash Wednesday Mass) and Tuesday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. (to be followed by 7 p.m. Mass.  All are invited to participate.

The areas that will need input are:

·        Prayer Team – Prayer Warriors
·        Public Relations, Communication and Announcements in support of building a consensus in the whole community of parish and school
·        Fundraising to cover the cost without interfering with operating funds
·        Reclamation of Space and Planning for Needed Storage
·        Construction and Outfitting of Atriums and other Rooms, developing the concrete project plan

All are invited to participate.  Where do you see yourself?  Who in the community has the skills and vision to address these needs?

Focolare Word of Life for February 2015

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)

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  You may also visit online for the Itinerary at  and the Application at 

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.