Fr. Tim celebrated his first mass on Tuesday May 25th the Memorial of St. Bede. Fr. Tim was assisted by two deacons: Deacon Bill Hill of Jackson and Deacon Ken Pitlick of Newcastle. A priest's first mass is truly a remarkable event as he acts "In persona Christi Capitis" for the first time liturgically making present the paschal mystery for the salvation of God's holy people. The Gospel for the mass was from Mk 10:28-31, "Peter began to say to Jesus, 'we have given up everything and followed you.' Jesus said, 'Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come." These words accurately capture Fr. Tim's journey, and every man's journey to the priesthood or consecrated life as well as every woman's journey to consecrated life, as well as every baptized person's expectation of discipleship. What hope could be seen as the Holy Spirit acted through Fr. Tim and consecrated bread, wine, and a people into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ!
Now Fr. Tim enters into the life and ministry of the Catholic Priesthood! He has become a "public person" a "man for others" and will be for us all a living witness of the joy of answering God's call! How very precious the love of God truly is, here is a gifted young man willing to persevere through 10 years of formation, in order to answer Jesus' call to the priesthood. What inspiration and hope for us all when the cross seems extraordinarily heavy in our lives, or the road of discipleship seems interminable, when prayer seems dry and inconsequential. What a witness to love! Just as Jesus "laid down his life for his friends" so too has Fr. Tim given his life for the local church, the Diocese of Cheyenne. How can we do any less? How can we give into timidity or selfishness and not answer God's call ourselves, or tarry along the way? The same Holy Spirit that animates and illumined Fr. Tim's journey is part of our faith journey too!
Let us all rejoice in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ! Let us rejoice in the priesthood of Jesus that touches our lives through the priests in our lives! Let us pray for our seminarians and those discerning God's call to priesthood, diaconate, religious life, marriage, and the single life! Let us rejoice in God's particular love for us, and for the call God makes to each of us to holiness!