The sugar maples on the shores of Maple Lake are interconnected by deep roots through which they share nutrients and protect the health of surrounding trees.
And for more than 100 years, the Church of St. Timothy has served much the same purpose for its community — spreading the love of Jesus Christ through the celebration of the sacraments and providing lifelong Christian formation.
The seeds of the parish were planted when Irish Catholic immigrants arrived in Maple Lake in the mid-1800s. Over the next 70 years, the faith community took root and grew. In 1922, overflowing their church, parishioners began to fundraise tirelessly for a new building.
The next year, they celebrated their first Mass in the same building St. Timothy
parishioners do today. In 1951 the parish branched out and opened a Catholic school.
“It’s an amazing parish,” says pastor Father John Meyer. “Life in Maple Lake still revolves around the church. It’s not only located in the center of town — it’s central to our parishioners’ lives.”
Building the Future
As the church approaches its 100th anniversary, the parish has looked toward the next 100 years — and how the community might ensure that its beloved church and school will endure.
With the goal of securing a consistent, stable source of income well into the future, parish leadership created the St. Timothy Legacy Program. Through two perpetual endowments — one for the parish and one for the school — parishioners can support their faith community not only today but forever.
After interviewing several investment organizations, parish leadership decided to entrust the endowment funds to the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF). The assurance that CCF would invest funds in alignment with their shared Catholic faith was a key factor in their decision.
“And CCF was a huge help at council meetings where otherwise we might have been spinning our wheels,” says Father Meyer. “They really understand parish life and culture.”
Legacy Program Co-Chair Greg Thomes knows from his professional experience in the insurance industry the value of planning for future needs. “I’ve only been a member of this parish for 40 years, which makes me something of a newcomer,” says Greg. “But I want to see this parish stay strong for the next 100 years.”
Angie Pribyl serves on St. Timothy’s finance committee and married into one of Maple Lake’s earliest families. “This beautiful legacy is something we want to pass on to our children,” says Angie, “just as it was passed on to us.”
Frank Sullivan’s children are seventh-generation St. Timothy parishioners. A member of the parish advisory council, Frank knows the reach of the parish extends beyond its community. “We want to preserve the faith and foundation that St. Timothy provides,” he says, “not only for the future of our families but for the future of the Catholic Church.”