Fr Ted Tyler: 40th anniversary of ordination to priesthood
By Virginia Knight
|Fr Ted Tyler: “My calling is to help people know and love Christ.”|
On Sunday 26 June 2011, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta priest Father Ted Tyler celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination to priesthood.
Born in the Sydney suburb of Gordon on 12 March 1943 to Maureen and Rowland Tyler, Fr Ted was the eldest of seven children. Since then, his father and two of his brothers (David and Gerard) have died.
His mother lives at Lane Cove in her 90th year, two sisters (Mary and Catherine) and a brother (John) live in Sydney, and a brother (Luke) is a teacher at Chevalier College at Bowral.
Fr Ted grew up at Lane Cove, and began his schooling at the parish infants’ school there. After primary and secondary school was completed, he entered the Seminary.
The thought of the priesthood often entered his mind as a boy, but it was during a school retreat in his last year of secondary education that the decision came.
“I remember it very vividly – it happened while saying the Rosary during that retreat,” Fr Ted said.
After seven years of parish assignments, he volunteered for missionary service in South America. During his time there he served in three parishes in Peru, and spent the last few years in the Andes mountains, largely on horseback.
Fr Ted says he greatly enjoyed working with the Peruvian Indians in their villages across the valleys he was responsible for. He remembers reaching one distant village where the entire village had been converted to a Protestant anti-Catholic sect, and the inhabitants had themselves become anti-Catholic.
After 4.5 years there, he returned to Australia and to parish ministry. In his spare minutes he pursued part-time research in various fields – especially in philosophy, Church history and comparative religions.
He also completed his PhD on Cardinal Newman’s understanding of what the conscience reveals of the nature of God. He holds several degrees in various fields and admits to loving research when he gets the time. All of this has been done “on the run”.
Recently, Fr Ted published an e-book, Son of God: The Daily Gospel Year A-1, which is meant for the spiritual nourishment of the laity. It contains the Gospel text of every day of year A-1 (this year 2011), together with a 750-word reflection on the daily text.
This book is available for free download at: www.catholic-thoughts.info/ebook/
“I have always been interested in writing,” Fr Ted said. “But I have never had the chance because I have always been involved in a busy pastoral scene, which I like anyway.”
If he could, he would like to write much more as time goes on, “but time is the problem, for I also like parish work,” he said.
He has other books in the pipeline, including commentaries on the liturgical readings, the person of Christ in the Gospels, atheism, and aspects of the thoughts of Blessed John Henry Newman.
“Atheism interests me, as does the question of the paths to God.”
It was during his seven years at St Margaret Mary’s Parish at Merrylands that he realised the possibilities of the internet. Knowing nothing of it at that point, he nevertheless determined to take the plunge because of its capacity to reach those who never set foot in a church.
“If I hear of any development that would be useful to this, I make it my business to learn how to use it, even if I do not understand it in a technical sense. The technological aspect I have to leave to very savvy friends, and I have a few very good friends who help me in that side of it, especially one couple here in Springwood. I am not technically minded at all; I just use the medium to reach my target.”
So he makes use of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other internet media. Not only has Fr Ted entered the field of e-books, but he has posted nearly 1,900 nine-minute videos on YouTube, all Gospel-based reflections.
Through his website (http://www.catholic-thoughts.info/) he provides a wealth of resources on Church teaching, spiritual life and Christian living. He especially loves the Gospels.
In the September school holidays of this year (23 September to 10 October), he will also be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome.
A good band of people have registered, and it promises to be very enjoyable. Anyone who is interested can contact him for details at email@example.com
Fr Ted enjoys parish work, above all celebrating Mass and preaching, but also the other aspects of the priestly ministry: hearing Confessions, Baptisms, visiting nursing homes, and the people.
He has been Assistant Priest at St Thomas Aquinas Parish at Springwood for more than four years, and feels very much at home in the Blue Mountains. He enjoys the people and the location.
On the priesthood, Fr Ted said: “I have never had any doubt about God, nor Christ, nor the Church as Christ’s creation, nor my Catholic faith. Since my ordination, I have never had any doubt about my priesthood. My calling is to help people know and love Christ.”Talking with him, this shines through.
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