Brother Tim Hemm, C.PP.S., has been part of life on the campus of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., since 1972.
Brother Tim said he felt that he was being called to the consecrated life but wasn’t sure how to serve. “Then when I got here to the college and realized what brothers did, that was it,” he said. “Plumbing, carpentry, janitorial, medical, electrical, mechanical—all of that work was being done by brothers.”
So Brother Tim went to work and has been an essential part of the life of the college ever since. He’s done manual labor but also reaches out to students as a campus minister, organizing Kairos retreats that have brought spiritual enrichment to so many. In campus ministry, he says, it’s important to trust students to assume leadership roles. “The trick for me is patience,” he said. “So often, the temptation is to pick up the thing and do it myself. But you have to trust the students. A lot of people don’t understand how much these kids can do—but I’ve seen it.”
Brother Tim’s door is always open to students who need to talk—something that’s been particularly meaningful this year. Due to an untenable financial situation, Saint Joseph’s will suspend operations after commencement on May 6. It’s been difficult for everyone to come to terms with the decision, and Brother Tim, to whom the campus is home, has had to minister to students, staff and faculty while dealing with his own grief. May God bless you in your ministry, Brother Tim, and may you be consoled by the thought of all the young adults you’ve sent out into the world, ready to lead.