Other Authors

You’re tempted to say, ‘Dial ‘O’ for O’Malley’

By Dolores Madlener | Staff writer
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Father Timothy O'Malley, pastor of St. Joseph's in Round Lake, with the cord he uses to make knotted rosaries. (Darrell Harmon / Catholic New World)

He is: Father Timothy O’Malley, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Round Lake. Has served in English-, Spanish- and Italian-speaking communities in the archdiocese. Received a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University Management School, is a CPA and earned a law degree from DePaul University. Ordained at Mundelein in 1997 at age 37.

Youth: Has 10 living brothers and sisters. Dad worked for the City of Chicago Department of Water. “When Dad retired after 20 years, he developed real estate in the city and Southwest suburbs. Mom was a homemaker and raised us kids. I was a model child! We lived in St. Walter Parish in the Beverly area until I was 10. When my father retired we moved to Wilmette and I graduated from Ss. Faith, Hope and Charity, and Loyola Academy for high school.”

Priesthood: “No matter what I was doing — even dating — the call to priesthood was stronger than the call to marriage. It was strong enough that I applied to the seminary and discerned my vocation while at Mundelein. I had felt tugged in that direction but — studying and living with other people who were examining their vocation, as well as the pastoral setting at St. Mary of the Lake — I found there a profound sense of joy.”

Ministering in a multi-cultural parish: He speaks Spanish. “I studied it in high school and college and used it as an accountant and as a lawyer, and studied it in the seminary. As Father John Klein used to tell us, ‘Learn Spanish a little at a time. It’s like putting on coats of paint — you can’t do it all at once.’

“My continuous effort is to blend St. Joseph’s into a family. All the parish commissions try to have English-speaking, Spanishspeaking as well as the Filipino community present so no group operates independently. We try to all sit down at the same table at parish council and other meetings, and to communicate respectfully with one another.”

Power of prayer: “There’s four inches of paper work under my arm right now. I pray to the Holy Spirit for help. I might do five thank-you notes, make five phone calls, work on five wedding files, and take care of the parish payroll, getting it done, a little at a time.

“I rely on the liturgy of the hours, the rosary, time for prayer, and an annual retreat. I’m also active in the Institute for Priestly Formation.” [The institute strengthens the spiritual identity of the diocesan priest.]

Leisure: “Our parish has a monthly Great Books group started by a seminarian. We just finished ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ On my day off, now that Mom isn’t here, I often head south to visit some of my brothers.” He enjoys yard work in-season, and tying barrel knot rosaries. “I give them away, sometimes to a parishioner heading back to the service after a leave.”

Favorite saint: “It’s St. Therese of the Child Jesus, because of her idea that doing little things with great love is a good goal. So I strive for that.”