Name: Timothy Silver
Date of Birth and place of Birth: September 28th, 1992; North Bay, ON
Place you grew up: North Bay, ON
Hi my name is Tim. I was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario. As a family we did a lot of camping, canoeing and volunteering with different organizations. In terms of faith my mom raised my sister and I catholic. My dad is not catholic but he has always supported us in our faith. I have very fond memories of going to Mass every Sunday as a child. I remember looking up at the priest and thinking to myself ‘whoa, he’s really cool’. I can see now that the seeds of my vocation where being planted.
During my pre and early teens I saw that most of my friends didn’t believe in God and some made fun of me for being an altar server. I began to question my faith. For a while I stopped going to Mass. A few months later we had a NET team (National Evangelization Teams) come to our city for the year. They began a youth group, which helped me grow in my faith.
When I was fifteen, I was asked to be a youth leader at a catholic youth conference called ‘Journey to the Father’. Before the conference began, we had a week’s worth of training. I remember during Mass one day looking around at each person. The way that the leaders and other participants loved and accepted me for who I was really spoke to my heart; I had never experienced this before. The thought came to me ‘what if Jesus loves and accepts me for who am I?’ In that instant a light switch turned on in my heart and I just knew that Jesus was real and that He loved me. This encounter with Jesus was a key moment in my faith journey.
After completing high school, I became a missionary with NET Australia (2011), and NET Ireland (2012- 2013). I later became a staff member with NET Ireland (2013- 2015). These years serving with NET ministries were incredibly formative for me. I received so much from Jesus and also was able to share the joy of the Gospel. I never planned on going abroad; God in His infinite wisdom opened these doors and invited me to walk through them.
It was while I was in Australia that I first began to seriously discern a call to the priesthood. I remember watching a film about the life of St. John Paul II and there was a scene where a Nazi kills a friend of St. John Paul II. During this scene something began to stir in my heart. I was crying and I was so impacted by this priest who gave his life for what he believed in. Was God calling me to be a priest? I was terrified! I can’t be a priest for a million reasons. A few weeks later I decided to talk to someone about it. This priest told me not to worry. If it was truly from the Lord, the desire would not go away, but rather, it would increase. And so it did. Over the next year and a half I didn’t think too much about it, but it was always there and over time it began to increase.
While I was in Ireland, I was talking to someone and they asked me if I had ever heard of the Companions of the Cross. I told them that I had heard about them, but that I didn’t know anything about them. The next opportunity I had, I went online to their website. Everything I read just really resonated in me. I remember thinking to myself, ‘this is amazing!’ Evangelization, community life, Eucharistic, Marian, charismatic, faithful to the magisterium. Whoa! So I contacted the vocations director and the rest is history. I feel so blessed to be part of this Community, which Jesus has called into existence for this time and place in history. He knows what He is doing. God is so good! Please pray for all my brothers and me. God bless.