The Mass honoring the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laguna Woods on June 11 served as a spiritual homecoming for Fr. Ryan Timossi.
NEWLY ORDAINED PRIEST, FR. RYAN TIMOSSI, IS PICTURED WITH HIS BROTHER SEAN AND PARENTS ANNE AND JOHN TIMOSSI AT ST. NICHOLAS CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LAGUNA WOODS.
Fr. Timossi, 33, started attending Mass at St. Nicholas at age 3 and his family has been in the parish for 30 years.
JOHN TIMOSSI RECEIVES COMMUNION FROM HIS SON, FR. RYAN TIMOSSI, DURING MASS CELEBRATED ON JUNE 11 AT ST. NICHOLAS CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LAGUNA WOODS.
Fr. Timossi was not only celebrating the Mass, he was returning to his home parish for the first time since being ordained a priest eight days earlier.
He was ordained on June 3 by Most Reverend Bishop Kevin Rhodes for the Diocese of Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indiana.
Fr. Timossi was then invited by St. Nicholas Pastor George Blais to celebrate Mass at St. Nicholas.
FR. RYAN TIMOSSI GIVES HIS HOMILY DURING MASS CELEBRATED ON JUNE 11 AT ST. NICHOLAS CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LAGUNA WOODS.
His parents, John and Anne Timossi, his brother Sean, his grandmother and several more relatives and friends were among those in attendance.
“I was filled with an immense peace throughout the Mass,” Fr. Timossi said. “Growing up in this parish I felt like it was my home in many respects. I felt the Father’s love shining down through the window as the light was coming down. It felt like the Father was smiling upon all of us. It was everything I expected in more.”
Just prior to delivering his homily, Fr. Timossi shared memories of attending Mass as a young child with his mother. Fr. Timossi drew chuckles from parishioners when he endearingly recalled his mother promising to buy him donuts if he agreed to accompany her to daily Mass.
“So, all of you who thought, ‘what a devout young child,’ know that it was partially due to donuts,” he said.
Fr. Timossi also thanked his parents for establishing and maintaining a spiritual base throughout his young life.
“Your faith and example have given me an environment to discern a vocation and ultimately make it to this day,” he told his parents during Mass.
During his homily, Fr. Timossi interpreted the day’s Gospel reading, John 6:51-58, in which Jesus declares that whoever receives His body and blood receives eternal life.
“This Sunday we celebrate one of the greatest mysteries of faith, that of the Eucharist, the mystery of the body and blood of Christ given to us as spiritual food and drink,” Fr. Timossi said. “The Eucharist makes us one with Jesus, at the moment of communion, Jesus comes into our hearts making it the most beautiful and precious time of our day.”
Fr. Timossi’s parents were seated in the first pew and received communion from their son.
John Timossi said watching his son celebrate Mass in the family’s home parish was “surreal.” “He did it,” John Timossi said. “He dedicated himself and here we are today. We’re very proud of him because that is what he wants to do, and the Lord has a plan for him.”
Anne Timossi said she never tried to push her children into a certain direction, but instead “gave them to the Lord.”
“I told them when they were young teens, ‘it is between you and God, whatever you do,’” she said. “It feels like the culmination of a lot of prayers and just seeing how he is going to be reaching out to people with his whole personality, uniting himself to the Lord and use whatever talents he has.”
While being homeschooled and raised in the Church, it wasn’t until attending Aliso Niguel High School when Fr. Timossi spent more time reading Sacred Scripture, which then prompted the future priest to take his spiritual life more seriously.
He received the sacrament of reconciliation, began praying more and studying the lives of saints. Fr. Timossi was particularly inspired by the life of St. Padre Pio, the Italian Capuchin Franciscan known for his charitable works and his unwavering devotion to the Lord. It is also believed that St. Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata, which are wounds appearing on the same area of body as the wounds received by Jesus during the crucifixion.
The calling into religious life strengthened when he began attending St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, where he received spiritual guidance from the Norbertine priests at the monastery. He joined an order of Franciscans in upstate New York.
“After two years of being in the community, I discerned the Lord seemed to be wanting me to study for the priesthood,” Fr. Timossi said.
He was sent to the Franciscan’s seminary in northern Italy, where he had opportunity to visit Padre Pio’s birthplace in Pietrelcina, as well as San Giovanni Rotondo, where Pio lived as a friar and where his body remains on display.
His resolve to enter the priesthood was strengthened by the experience. Fr. Timossi returned to California and then journeyed to Fort Wayne Indiana, where he spent time with a group of Franciscan Friars he had met in New York.
Fr. Timossi felt a calling to serve at the diocesan level and ultimately remained in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After his visit with family in Orange, Timossi returned to Fort Wayne for his first assignment at Our Lady of Good Hope, a parish with about 1,200 families.
Anne Timossi added: “As a mother, I feel like everything we have done has culminated in this and now I look forward to a unity, from wherever he is, united in prayer. It is not so much missing him. It is uniting my prayers to whatever is going on in his life because Jesus operates that way. There is no distance. So, I let him go wherever the Lord takes him.”