We offer our congratulations to Fr. Tim, as well as to all the other new priests of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, along with the Archdiocese of Detroit, Lansing, and our many beloved out-of-state brethren. I had wanted to hitch a ride with a colleague up to Marquette myself, but family events conspired to prevent me.
Fr. Tim's case somewhat special to many of us who have come to know and love him over the years, not only the several of us who have had him as a colleague in recent years in Detroit, but those who have known him as a fellow parishioner at St. Josaphat, and as one who frequently helped serve Tridentine Masses in various local venues. But as I have come to realize on Facebook, his "constituency" of friends extends so far beyond these circles that I sometimes wonder if there is a Catholic who doesn't know him!
Fr. Tim's road to the priesthood was a long and somewhat circuitous one; and one of the best accounts of his ordination and summaries of his personality I've seen of late is that just posted by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf ("Fr. Z"), who was in Marquette, MI, for the occasion, as I had hoped to be. Fr. Z includes several good photos, along with a sampling of Fr. Tim's skill as a lyricist (a bit of an inside joke):
For those of you newcomers here, Fr. Ferguson wrote the now oldie, but cherished “O Come, O Come Liturgical Blue” and many others, including the hit single that prompted legendary urban rapper Zuhlio to come out of retirement, “Lady Tambourine Priest“ [This one's my fave -PP]. Oddly, in that one, he sounds rather like Dylan from back in 1965. And don’t forget “Where Have All The Sisters Gone?”Fr. Z also included a note sent to him about the photos and Fr. Tim's First Mass that reveals something of the character of the newly ordained priest:
I preached myself – briefly, and rather emotionally, but I think the gratitude got across. A few rubrical blips, but Matthew Hill was a great MC. It’s a lot different practicing and actually offering the Sacrifice. The profundity of it hit me during the offertory – and I think Bishop Doerfler’s line from the ordination homily about looking into the chalice at the time of consecration and seeing ourselves immersed in and reflected in the Blood of Christ is something I will carry with me always.