By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
After being ordained to the priesthood in March of 1958, I was anxious to get on the go with my ecclesiastic journey. However it was put on hold until I had finished my last scholastic requirements at the Gregorian University in Rome.
It was also delayed as I wanderded back to the United States with a visit to the Holy Land and Lourdes and the Brussels World Fair; but finally I was back in Tyler doing a little fishing and a lot of visiting.
The day finally arrived and I was given the job of assistant pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Pleasant Grove. This seemed to me to be a good omen as “pleasant” was in my vocabulary as a nice and gracious thing. And so it turned out to be a blessing for my vocation.
The first thing I did was to ask the pastor, Father Thomas Ambrose Tschoepe, what would be my duties. He asked me, “Are you ready to visit the people of this parish?” I responded that I was ready.
“Are you ready to work in the school teaching religion to the seventh- and eighth-graders?” “Are you ready to cooperate with Youth Group Sponsors?” “Are you ready to hear confessions, to baptize, to visit the sick, to work for those who are on the margins?”
I answered, “ Yes. I am ready!” So each day for three and a half years I was graced with the example of that pastor who was always ready to be of service to everyone. But he also gave me the excellent image of a priest who performed all these duties in his own special way. He was not afraid to be the country boy from Pilot Point who visited his mother on Sunday afternoons to be with her and eat her “Cin’men” rolls.
For the past 62 years, I have tried to be ready for whatever comes along. The greatest blessing in all my assignments has been the faith and the love of the women and men in each parish. They have given me wonderful advice and have also put up with my unique personality.
Now that I am “officially” retired, I am ready to do whatever the Good Shepherd asks…and whatever will be a pleasant blessing for our battered society and our threatened earth.
Father Timothy Gollob, who has been the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff for more than 50 years, retired June 30. Father Gollob will continue to write his column for The Texas Catholic.