The Way of the Cross

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The Party's Over. The Lord's Work Has Begun.

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He had high-paying jobs. He hung out in nightclubs. He married and divorced. All along the way, Br. Timothy Childers, MIC, was searching the world for meaning, and then he met the Lord in the Catholic Church.

So how did Br. Timothy — who professed perpetual vows with the Marian Fathers on Aug. 13 — go from a life of partying to a life dedicated to the Lord?

Born in Tampa, Florida, he grew up Lutheran. He respected his pastor and would go to him whenever he had questions. But when his pastor passed away while Br. Timothy was in high school, that's when his church-going ended.

He became severely depressed from being picked on and started searching for fulfillment in the world — in possessions, money, relationships, even eating. After graduation he spent his time working and partying. He had a couple different girlfriends, one of whom he married — but it didn't last long.

All of his friends were going through divorces at the same time, so they started going to the bar on Friday nights. One fateful Friday, when he arrived at the bar, there was only one seat left. It was next to a young woman. She was talking with another young man, and Timothy joined in. She was a newly converted Catholic and was eager to share about her faith.

It was right before Lent, so she asked Timothy what Lutherans did for Lent. He had absolutely no idea. She asked him if he went to church — no answer. She asked if he even wanted to go to church. To his own surprise, he answered, "Yes."

"I realized I had said yes, but I had no idea where that answer came from," Br. Timothy says. "I realized there was something deeper inside me that was longing for God, and I didn't even know it."

The next Sunday, he returned to his childhood church, and for the first time in his life, he actually wanted to be there. He knew that his life was changing.

The woman from the bar invited him to come to the Stations of the Cross at her Catholic parish, and it changed him for the rest of his life. Praying the Stations involved a lot of kneeling and standing, and by the ninth station he started to black out. Immediately he knew something deeper was going on inside him.

"I knew I was walking with the Lord in His Passion, and He in mine," he says. "I knew that suffering had a purpose because of what Christ had done for me."

After finishing the Stations, he sat down and reflected. He knew one thing: He needed to become Catholic.

He promptly set out to learn as much as he could about Catholicism, and he went through RCIA. He learned about the priesthood and thought he might have a vocation. He wanted to stay local and be a diocesan priest, but felt a tug to check out a religious order.

Mary, Divine Mercy, and the powerful conversion story of Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, led him to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.

After one weekend of visiting the community, he completely changed his mind about diocesan priesthood and applied to the Marians. It has been an adventurous five years since then.

"I am thankful to all of our Marian Helpers and their support and prayers, which has made it possible for me to be a Marian for the rest of my life," he says.

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JM - Dec 4, 2016

Amen. The blessed mystery of Love. May you grow in your vocation and uphold your vow to love and serve the Lord. May He grant us Mercy and let us save many along our way. Jesus I Trust In You. Amen Amen, Alleluia.