Give Me Five

Give Me Five with Fr. John “Jack” Timlin


A monthly series in Vincentian Voices where we ask five random questions to an Eastern Province Priest or Brother.

This month, we talk with Fr. John “Jack” Timlin, CM, who serves as the Director of Internal Seminary in Philadelphia. We thought we’d ask Fr. Timlin a few questions.

What was your favorite course or subject in school and why?

My favorite subject was history. I liked, and still like, looking at events of the past that have influenced our world and our society because I think that we can learn from history if we are open to do so.

What movie or television show have you seen the most times? Please explain.

It would be a toss up between the movie Hoosiers and the movie Romero. I like sports, especially baseball and basketball, and I like when the underdog wins (Hoosiers). Saint Oscar Romero is one of my heroes and the movie, in a simple way, shows his transformation and goodness (Romero).

If you could ask Saint Vincent de Paul one question, what is the question and why?

“Saint Vincent, would you mind sharing just a bit of the energy you had for service and the love you had for people, especially the poor, with me?”  I can use all the help I can get. 

Besides connecting with family and friends, what do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy walking, reading (especially biographies), and watching baseball and basketball.

If you could have dinner with one non-religious historical figure (dead or alive), who would it be and why? What might you ask them?

I would very much enjoy having dinner and a conversation with the late Civil Rights Activist and Representative in Congress, John Lewis. As I learned about his life in his words and the words of others, I was deeply impressed by his example of faith and his desire to help build up the Beloved Community. His courage and ability to be a man of peace in the midst of such evil and violence; and his determination to bring about justice challenges me to look at my life and ask myself, “What should I do?”  It also strikes me that he was a person who trusted in Divine Providence. I don’t know what I would ask him. I think that I would just listen to his story.


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