Father Tim Fairman '88 (Archdiocese of Chicago), St. Theresa, Palatine, IL
Submitted by: Jennifer Kim
When it was announced the Church was closing, Fr. Tim immediately scheduled a safe, socially distanced final Mass with a Eucharistic procession around the Church grounds. He set up a tabernacle in a window so anyone could drive up and pray before the Lord, day or night. Very early on, we had online daily and Sunday Masses. We were also able to join the priests virtually for Eucharistic Adoration, rosaries, and Liturgy of the Hours. Fr. Tim led several other Eucharistic processions around the neighborhood, including one in the World Apostolate of Fatima bus that traveled the entire parish boundary on Divine Mercy Sunday. As soon as he could, he opened the Church for adoration, then confession, and finally Mass! For digital outreach, the parish uses Flocknote, Facebook and Youtube: https://www.facebook.com/St-Theresa-Catholic-Church-115891058438758 and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTy0s7esFoVZI4iFxrwCRfQ/featured
Fr. Tim, along with his associates, Fr. Matt Jamesson, Fr. Tom Bishop, and Fr. Michael Wanda are holy hero priests! Fr. Tim led our parish through this pandemic without missing a beat. We were devastated to lose access to Mass but he provided safe opportunities for us to stay connected to Christ and to each other as a parish. The priests offered the virtual Masses and their own reception of Holy Communion for the parishioners. They lit candles and prayed rosaries for our intentions. The tabernacle in the window is still regularly visited and there have even been socially distanced bible studies and rosary groups meeting in front of it. Fr. Tim made sure we had access to the Eucharist as soon as it was safe to do so and he invited those who cannot return to Church to briefly walk in after the live stream Mass to receive Communion.
Fr. Tim led his associates to live as servant priests, truly sacrificing themselves in imitation of Christ, for the life of the parish. They stood in for us and offered our prayers and worship to God in person when we could not. They assured us, prayed for us, and kept us connected in every way they could. Fr. Tim is a true father to his priests and to our parish community. When this all began, he admitted that he was not comfortable with digital technology, but he put himself aside and pushed past any challenges for our sake, to bring us closer to Christ.