For Saint Elizabeth parishioner Tim Murphy, the road to the Permanent Diaconate has been a journey of patient persistence in several ways. Ordained at the Cathedral Basilica in Philadelphia on June 12, and now assigned by Archbishop Perez to serve at Saint Thomas More Church in South Coventry, Tim is at peace and filled with hope about this new phase of his life.

Tim first pursued his calling to serve Christ back in 2000, but the idea had been on his mind and in his heart for a long time. "Back then, it was naively all about me and what I was going to do for God and the Church," says Tim.  He was living in New Jersey at the time and his initial acceptance into the diaconate formation program was deferred.  While greatly disappointed and struggling with the truth about his call to the diaconate, some life changes occurred, and God's grace and providence brought him, his wife Corinne, and their youngest daughter Grace, to Pennsylvania. "It was like an Exodus time in our lives: a time in the desert," reflected Tim.

Still, God persisted in his call and cleared the roadblocks that previously held Tim back so that he could start the process again- six years later - in Philadelphia. More importantly, Tim's approach to the diaconate formation completely changed the second time around. "I was more focused on God's call, more relaxed, and took one little step at a time," he said. "As a result, the entire process changed me, deepened my marriage, and did all sorts of great things for my outlook on life." Conflicts along the way, juggling family obligations and work, and a heavy study schedule can be taxing. " But in the midst of all the chaos, there is also a sense of peace," he said. That's how Tim knew that he was still on the right path.

As he neared the end of the seven-year formation journey, Tim followed Father Mullin's advice and explored the surrounding parishes to observe how other pastors and parishes operate. In that quest, Tim coincidentally connected with Father Lawrence Kozak, the pastor at St. Thomas More Church, and Tim's ecclesiology instructor at Saint Charles Seminary. Last fall Tim began assisting at weekend Masses there and is thrilled that the archbishop assigned him to St. Thomas More after his diaconate ordination.

"One thing I've figured out along the way is that God wants our hearts and our minds, our whole selves," Tim sad. It is one of the reasons he could not ignore God's call. "I believe people are seeking the truth of Christ, and they know it when they hear it. I hope and pray that I can be a good deacon and bring the love of Christ to the people." 

- Amy Giampietro