Meet Deacon Tim, Part III

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this third article, I would like to talk about some of the experiences in my adult life that have shaped and formed me and put me on a path that led to my ordination as deacon.

I developed close friendships in high school, and I continued to stay connected with the same group of friends. All of us shared a common faith, and we all desired to know the Lord. I started dating Anne in my second year of college. We began our relationship as friends, having spent four years in high school together. We were both committed to our faith. After marriage, we began working with engaged couples through the Minneapolis Catholic Youth Center, and later through our parish. Later in our marriage, we worked with a wonderful mentor couple and together we developed and delivered a program in human sexuality for youth in our parish.


I spent most of my working career in the shadow of St. Olaf’s Church in downtown Minneapolis. I walked the two blocks to the church for Mass and confession on a regular basis. One particular afternoon following the noon Mass, I found myself in the long confessional line. I waited for my turn and prayed that I would not get the priest whose loud, booming voice I could hear from where I was standing. Praise God, I did have that priest for confession! This Jesuit priest so moved me during this sacrament that I later sought him out as a spiritual director. We developed a close bond over many years. It was also around this time that the Lord began nudging me gently about the diaconate. Each time I felt that gentle tug, I could hear my dear departed mother saying again how she hoped that one of her sons would become a priest.

God is ever-patient with us, and that’s a good thing in my case. I continued to attend Mass and confession more frequently, and I continued to feel those little tugs on my heart from the Lord. On October 3, 2006, my life changed forever. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but this date will forever live in my memory as a turning point in my faith journey. I stood before a priest as he prayed over me, and I had a profound experience of the Holy Spirit descending upon me. I knew something was different, but I wasn’t sure how to describe it. Two months later, on December 5, I again had a powerful experience of the Spirit. I knew that I would never look at things the same way again. I

began to see the world through God’s eyes, instead of my own. Ironically, nine years later on December 5, 2015, I stood before Bishop Cozzens to accept my calling as a deacon. God indeed works in mysterious and surprising ways!

“Yes” is a powerful word. Our Blessed Mother’s “yes” forever changed the world! Imagine our parish family without the “yes” of our beloved pastor. In my case, Anne said her “yes” before I did. She saw what God was doing in me and knew that she had to be the one to call me to ministry. On an ordinary Saturday, we sat in our room; I was on the computer, and Anne was busy with another task. She told me that I should become a deacon. “Really, me?” That question, put to me by my wife, started me on a path of inquiry. I met with friends, priests, deacons, co-workers, and others. I told them what I was considering and asked what they thought. They gave me a resounding “yes.”

I am thrilled to be serving with a beautiful, holy priest among the wonderful people of St. Peter’s. I pray that my “yes” will open windows of faith to all those I meet.

In Christ who calls us,

Deacon Tim



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