Father Tim: a role model for ‘giving back’

This is one of my favorite photos of Father Tim Power, who passed away Sept. 21, 2016 following retirement and a long illness. It would have been taken in the early-1980s – before his Pax Christ Catholic Community was built – and for me it evokes the casual, fun-loving nature of “Father Tim.”

Eden Prairie Community Foundation supporters will be interested to know that Father Tim was one of them. Even as he guided the growing Pax Christi as its pastor from 1981 to 2004, Father Tim’s involvement in and impact on the Foundation was great.

In fact, in 1997 as a board member he championed the idea that support for the Foundation’s work shouldn’t come solely from the annual Foundation Ball, but also from a grass-roots campaign where many, many people could donate $100 or  more to the organization’s good work. It came to be known as the Century Club.

“Not everyone likes to get tuxed up,” Father Tim explained to me for a newspaper article I wrote in 2015. Introverts like him were looking for another way to regularly support the Foundation, and had seen the $100-contribution idea work elsewhere.

The idea of an annual campaign asking for $100 per household was embraced by the Foundation and the community, and “kind of took off from there,” he said.

Everyone can do a little bit. That seemed to also guide the social-justice work that Pax Christi members performed starting under Father Tim’s leadership. A major social-justice grant program initiated during his tenure continues to this day.

On a personal level, I’ll also remember the Catholic priest for his excellent sermons and for stretching the boundaries when it came to messaging. He could get you thinking, that’s for certain – an example being the Mass I happened to attend with my German Catholic father during one of his rare visits to Eden Prairie. That Sunday the church altar was pushed aside for a moment and the liturgy was presented via interpretive dance. An interpretive dance instead of a sermon … ponder that for a moment. I know my Dad did.

From his efforts to regularly meet with other community pastors, to his involvement as chaplain for the Eden Prairie Police Department, to his work with the Foundation and many other community organizations, Father Tim’s influence beyond the walls of Pax Christi are great. It’s the spirit of giving back, personified.

Thanks, Father Tim.

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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