Take 5 with Father: life with faith

by Susan Moses

North Texas Catholic

Father Tim Thompson (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

He is: Father Tim Thompson, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Denton and judicial vicar.

Growing up: The family owns a funeral home, which kept Tim and his five siblings busy behind the scenes, vacuuming, moving flowers, and running errands. 

Locally sourced: Fr. Tim was educated at St. Mary, 
St. Andrew, Holy Family, and Nolan Catholic Schools.

The call: Fr. Tim began considering a religious vocation as a teen, feeling a call while serving at a Stations of the Cross service on Good Friday. After attending a priestly ordination before his senior year of high school, he began to make plans for seminary.

Ordained: Where he was an altar server in his youth — Holy Family Church in Fort Worth, on July 16, 1982. 

Best parts of being a priest: “Participating in Sunday Mass — praying with the community and reflecting on the Gospel, preaching. But also when you can be there for a person in a difficult moment — whether that’s sickness in a hospital or somebody’s struggle in Reconciliation — can be satisfying, to know you’re helping someone. . . hopefully a moment of grace for them.” 

In North Texas: Having grown up here, the diocese is “personal to me and familiar. I have a lot of sense of connection.”

And out of North Texas: Fr. Tim goes to Guatemala on a medical mission each year, “assisting in spiritual needs, saying Mass or hearing confessions. An important part of missions is sharing your faith.”

Hobbies: Golf, daily exercise, long walks, and reading.

Quiet time: Fr. Tim practices a Trinitarian contemplative prayer, meditates on Scripture, and prays the Liturgy of the Hours. “I always make it a practice to do morning prayer with the community just before Mass.” 

On the sexual abuse scandal: “To abandon your faith in the face of that is really the wrong choice. It never was supposed to be dependent upon people. Your faith isn’t in the behavior of leaders. It’s in Jesus Christ.”

Seeing the bigger picture: “Mass can be a pain sometimes. It’s hard to hear and the kids are crying. But some of those things are a wonderful part of Mass. It’s a really human, communal experience. We can focus so much on those annoying things, we miss out on the bigger picture there — the real experience of people of faith and prayer.”

On faith: “Life without faith is a meaningless endeavor. Life without faith is a pointless existence. But a person in faith is finding the meaning of life. So if they can keep their attention focused on the whole purpose, they would never leave. They couldn’t quit that.”

Why he is Catholic: “It’s what Jesus willed for His community. It’s where I’ve encountered Christ. It’s where you find most fully God’s grace and truth. I experience it most in the Eucharist, but in forgiveness, Reconciliation, anointing those who are ill, I just have a sense of God’s active presence.”

Meet Father Tim Thompson, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Denton. He encourages parishioners to look beyond the minor annoyances of Mass, such as crying kids, to see the bigger picture — the real experience of people of faith and prayer.

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