Summer Reflection - Saint John's Seminary

Summer Reflection | Growing in Closeness to Christ Through Parish Ministry

August 18, 2022

By: Mr. Timothy Walsh
Seminarian, Archdiocese of Boston

I’m spending my summer in St. Michael’s Parish in Winthrop. I’m blessed to have Deacon Hien, and Fathers Chris and Patrick O’Connor as priests.

The community of Winthrop is vibrant and the people here are very close-knit. It’s a blessing to help this community in the small ways that I can. Whether helping out at the Parish headquarters, serving at Mass, or distributing Holy Communion to the sick; there’s always good work to do. It’s also really cool to help serve at Mass at the Airport Chapel. The best part of this assignment is assisting in the sacraments. The best work is always closest to Christ.

It’s a great joy to get to know the people of this parish. They’re gracious and always inviting us to cookouts, get-togethers, dinners, and prayer. I can see the Holy Spirit working even in these small moments and it brings me great joy.

I’m especially grateful for the staff of Saint Michael’s. All of them are incredibly helpful and I learn a lot about Winthrop from them. They have a great passion for what they’re doing and Christ is in everything they do. I hope one day to have a parish staff as dedicated as they are.

Father Chris is a wonderful pastor and leader for the community of Winthrop. His sense of humor, joyful presence, and charm are always visible. Father Chris seems to be well known in Winthrop. I think this is due to how much he reaches out to people. He’s always willing to accommodate, listen, and help his community. Through him, St. Michael’s is a central aspect to the town of Winthrop.

It’s amazing to see Father Patrick O’Connor in his very first assignment. It's great knowing he was one of the first priests that were in formation with me. A big project he’s leading is revamping the youth ministry program. I can’t wait to see the fruits of this ministry and how many young people he’ll bring to Christ. I can see how much of a passion he has for listening and being present to the parishioners.

Deacon Hien is always smiling and is very prayerful. He is a very hard worker and willing to take up any task. He’s also a tremendous cook and loves to serve others in whatever way he can. I hope to imitate him in whatever way I can.

Seminarian Timothy Walsh assisting Deacon Hien and Fr. Patrick during Vacation Bible Camp

Winthrop is almost like an island with beautiful beaches and wonderful people. I’m ever grateful to God for the little amount of time I get to spend here. I look forward to our Vacation Bible Camp and helping Father Chris. This summer is helping me learn the life of Parish ministry and I hope to take these fruits with me in the future.