BUFFALO, N.Y. — In 1946, Bishop John O’Hara of Buffalo asked the Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province to begin staffing a new high school. Named in honor of Bishop John Timon, the first bishop of Buffalo, the school was to provide a quality Catholic education for those who were unable to afford the tuition of existing secondary schools in the diocese.
Today, Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School is still dedicating itself to providing an affordable Catholic education for young men of the community while proudly emphasizing its Franciscan roots. To continue the school’s tradition of making tuition affordable for all, funds from “Celebrating Our Mission… Partnering for the Future,” the school’s current capital campaign which was launched on the feast of St. Francis in 2012, will be reserved and made available for tuition assistance and scholarships. The Franciscan Discretionary Fund will help families who have a history of meeting their tuition obligation but, because of a change in their financial circumstance, cannot pay tuition.
“We believe that this reserved Franciscan Discretionary Fund will perpetuate the legacy begun by the friars over the years and sustain the commitment that no student will be denied a Catholic education because of an inability to meet the burden of tuition,” according to the fall 2012 issue of Fortes In Fide, the high school’s magazine.
After the school’s founding, Claude Kean, OFM, the first principal of Bishop Timon High School, and other friars went door to door in Buffalo’s First Ward, personally inviting boys to attend Timon and helping those who struggled to pay tuition. Years later, although the friars no longer staff Timon full time, many alumni fondly remember the friars, saying “If it weren’t for the friars making it possible for me to go to Timon, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”
The tireless compassion and dedication of the friars to the students of Timon are preserved in Fortes In Fide. In an article titled “We Are Franciscan,” the school restates its commitment to its Franciscan roots and acknowledges the challenge of remaining a Franciscan community without the full-time presence of friars.
At the beginning of the academic year, Ronald Pecci, OFM, of Wilmington, Del., led retreats for board members as well as for faculty and staff to “help raise the collective consciousness of each unique group that serves the Timon community,” according to the newsletter. During each retreat, Ronald, a former Timon High School Board member, reminded participants that St. Francis of Assisi was very conscious of God as Trinity and held prayer as the prime focus of everything he said and did. Ron encouraged participants to “have a prayerful consciousness of God’s presence as they fulfill their ministry to Timon.”
Currently, John Alderson, OFM, serves as Timon’s chaplain. The school’s board of trustees includes Xavier Seubert, OFM, who also serves on the faculty of Christ the King Seminary in nearby East Aurora, N.Y.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.