Teamwork Touched by Faith
Teamwork Touched by Faith
08.08.18 • Lynette Townsend • Volunteer StoryTeller
When it comes to teamwork, Father Tim Ramaekers from Corpus Christi Catholic parish is a natural. Raised in a large family of seven, he learned at an early age the value of working together. His father was a L.A. City fireman and his mother a stay-at-home mom. In high school, Fr. Tim refined his teamwork skills participating in several sports.
His evangelical friend questioned Fr. Tim’s baptism.
He also questioned whether he had accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior.
These were unfamiliar questions for a Catholic and this became the catalyst that made Fr. Tim delve deeper into his Catholic faith.
Fr. Tim was raised in a spiritual family that combined the Catholic and Methodist religions. His mother, raised Methodist became a Catholic in 1955 after five years of marriage. Fr. Tim was exposed to different religions growing up which gave him a well-rounded knowledge of the different choices of faith.
At the age of 16, one of Fr. Tim’s closest friends was an Evangelical Christian. Together they spent many hours attending church services, after-hours programs and sitting in on “witness talks,” which consisted of people sharing their lives before and after accepting Jesus. All of this made Fr. Tim think and it also caused some spiritual challenges.
His evangelical friend questioned Fr. Tim’s baptism. He also questioned whether he had accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior. These were unfamiliar questions for a Catholic and this became the catalyst that made Fr. Tim delve deeper into his Catholic faith.
Not only had Fr. Tim had accepted the Lord Jesus
but he was actually receiving the body and blood of the Lord into his own body.
This was an “aha” moment for him. He decided that he was all in, in terms of being a Catholic
In January of 1972, when Fr. Tim was a junior in high school, his basketball practice ended early on a weekday evening. He decided to attend the 5:30 p.m. mass at his parish, St. Barbara in Santa Ana. Why mass on that particular night? Fr. Tim states, “The Spirit put that thought into his mind.” While kneeling during the consecration the priest said, “This is my body and this is my blood.” These were words Fr. Tim had heard for 17 years but for the first time on that night it had a real deep meaning.
Not only had Fr. Tim had accepted the Lord Jesus but he was actually receiving the body and blood of the Lord into his own body. This was an “aha” moment for him. He decided that he was all in, in terms of being a Catholic. After that experience, he got involved in St. Barbara’s Youth Ministry and began thinking about becoming a priest.
Fr. Tim entered St. John Seminary in 1973 at the age of 18. He was ordained in 1982 and served in many parishes as a Parochial Vicar. In 1997, he became the pastor of St. Joseph Church in Placentia where he spent his next 15 years.
As a parish, we know the more time spent with our priests, the stronger the bond. It wasn’t any different for Fr. Tim when he had to leave his parishioners at St. Joseph in July of 2012 to join Corpus Christi. This became one of the major transitions in his lifetime. While he was saying good-bye to his faith family at St. Joseph, the parishioners of Corpus Christi were saying good-bye to Fr. Fred after many years.
Prayer and Fr. Tim’s relationship with the Lord helped him during this time. In challenging times, Fr. Tim will turn to his favorite Bible passage, The Calming of a Storm at Sea; Mark 4:35-41. Another great help was being able to acknowledge that just as he was grieving, the people of Corpus Christi were also grieving.
Fr. Tim has been blessed to be an instrumental part of six parishes.
Each one holds a special place in his heart.
After a total of 16 months at Corpus Christi, Fr. Tim had to take two months off for surgery. Once he recuperated and came back, he felt like his grieving had run its course. At that time, he noticed the shift in himself and also in our parish parishioners. The passing of time became a blessing that helped us all to heal and move forward.
Being a priest is a 24/7 job. Fr. Tim has Mondays off and he takes time off for vacation but everywhere he goes, he’s a priest. Fr. Tim explains you have to look at it like a marriage. It’s not a job, but a vocation. Marriages are not Monday through Friday from nine to five. And, just as being married requires continual work, so does priesthood.
Preaching, teaching and the sacraments come naturally to Fr. Tim. Weddings and even funerals bring great joy. He states, “It’s important because it’s not what I do but what God does. It’s what God does through me and just to be a part of that…that brings satisfaction.” Keeping up with this high tech age, he’s also very involved in Social Media for our parish. If you find yourself touched by Fr. Tim’s homilies, he works on them for eight to ten hours before we hear them at mass! He also finds happiness through the people of our parish. Seeing the members of his staff and volunteers excel brings him joy in their excellence.
If you’re wondering what Fr. Tim does on his day off, he has hobbies but feels they’re a bit boring. He likes to start his morning off with a nice extended walk. He also really enjoys writing; journal writing, stream of consciousness writing and he enjoys reading. His favorite author: John Steinbeck. He’s read all of his works at least three times. Cannery Row is his favorite book. When he has time off, he tries to visit the Salinas, Monterrey, Pacific area at least twice a year.
Fr. Tim has been blessed to be an instrumental part of six parishes. Each one holds a special place in his heart. Corpus Christi has that lovely small town feel like family. We are known in the dioceses for our fellowship. With Fr. Tim’s incredible faith and his invaluable teamwork abilities we will continue to be guided as a faith-filled team working together to support each other and to help those in need in our community.
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Corpus Christi Parish Website: www.avcatholics.org