Consecration of Brother Timothy Marie of Gethsemane as a Hermit

Rite of the Perpetual Consecration of Brother Timothy Marie of Gethsemane as a Hermit by Bishop George Leo Thomas as a hermit for the Diocese of Helena, Montana in the Cathedral of St. Helena: in seven parts beginning with
Timothy Hermit 2
“Brother Timothy Pida, formerly of Blossburg, has taken the name Timothy Marie of Gethsemane, he professed vows as a consecrated diocesan hermit on May 31 at the Cathedral of St. Helena, Mont. During the Holy Mass, he vowed to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience as a hermit in the service of the church. It is the most ancient form of consecrated life in the church, originating in the first century AD.
Brother Timothy Marie is the son of John and Helen Pida, of Montoursville. The family owned and operated Pida’s Pharmacy in Blossburg.”
Timothy Hermit
“On May 31, the Diocese of Helena received its first canonical hermit, Brother Timothy Pida.
Many contemporary Catholics do not know that the presence of hermits has a long and hallowed history in the life of the Church.
The eremitic life, as it is properly called, was seen both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and even predates the rise of the monastic communities.
Brother Timothy Pida’s consecration places him in deep communion with a long-established lineage of hermits, a tradition that has endured for centuries before entering a period of fallow.
History is instructive and necessary as we seek to understand and illuminate the eremitic life and its role in the contemporary Church. The very word “hermit” is drawn from the Greek word eremos, meaning “an inhabitant of the desert.” Christian hermits were present in small numbers by the second century, and their numbers grew steadily in the next century as the Church entered a period of intense persecutions.
The venerable St. Jerome wrote the biography of St. Paul the Hermit, who lived during the time of the Decian persecutions. St. Athanasius documented the life of St. Anthony of the Desert, the prototype par excellence of the eremitical life. Under St. Anthony’s influence, the number of hermits increased significantly, beginning in Egypt, spreading into Palestine and eventually reaching the Sinai Peninsula.
Monastic communities sprang up in the fourth century, but their rapid ascent did not supplant or extinguish the solitary life. By the Middle Ages, hermits were present in Italy, France, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and Flanders, and flourished well into the 17th century.
Even well-established monastic communities permitted some of their numbers to live as solitaries (anchorites), living under the authority of the abbot and enjoying the support and blessings of brother monks. However, as monastic life increased in prominence, the eremitic life entered a period of dormancy, beginning in the 18th century and continuing to the present day.
In the 1960s, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council called for restoration of the full panoply of vocations, both lay and clerical. This renewal included the eremitic life.
In 1996, blessed Pope John Paul II issued an exhortation, titled Vita Consecrata, in which he introduced the ministry of hermit as one of the many examples of consecrated living.”

Bishop’s Column — June 2013 — by Bishop George Leo Thomas

For the Diocese of Helena, see

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