Dear St. John the Baptist Parishioners,
I am eager to meet you all soon! I would like to offer a short introduction about myself. However, I am sure we will be properly introduced in August.
My parents met while my father was serving in the U.S. Army and stationed in Pirmasens, Germany. I was born in Ft. Polk Louisiana, however, my mother did not like Louisiana, so the family moved back to Germany until I was about five years old. After my dad left the U.S. Army, the family decided to move to Ogden, where I lived for the next twenty-two years. During that time, I attended Ben Lomond High School, and I also earned my Associates of Science at Weber State University. During my schooling, I also worked as a Hospice Aide for Applegate Homecare and Hospice, and I also worked for the State of Utah (DJJS).
Although I was baptized in the Catholic Church, I was not raised Catholic. I entered RCIA at St. Joseph’s Parish in the fall of 2005, and I received Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil 2006. I became Catholic (and I entered seminary) in a large part because of the witness of St. John Paul II. Be Not Afraid!
I entered Mt. Angel Seminary, in Oregon in 2009 and I graduated with a double major in Philosophy and Literature in 2013. After graduating from collegiate seminary, Archbishop Wester asked me to continue my studies in Rome, Italy. I studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, completing an S.T.B. in 2016 and an S.T.L. (Dogmatic Theology) in 2018. Within that time, I was ordained to the transitional diaconate in 2016 and to the Priesthood in 2017. After finishing my advanced studies, I was assigned to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden where I served as a Parochial Vicar last year.
As a result of all of these travels, I speak English, and I can survive in German, Italian, and Spanish, although I am not fluent in any of the latter three. I can, however, write a homily and celebrate mass in all three languages.
One little thing I would like to mention. I am a massive Utah Jazz fan! Before I entered the seminary, I was a season ticket holder for two seasons. My favorite player growing up was John Stockton, because he was the ultimate teammate. He ran the point and he made everyone around him better. Stockton emulated what it means to lead selflessly; because success is found in building up your teammates, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I consider myself lucky because I believe that our parish has a lot of talents and gifts. Matthew 20:28 states, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” I look forward to serving this community in any way that the Lord calls me.
I love being a priest! And God is going to do amazing things for our community this next year! Please keep me in your prayers, as you are in my daily prayers!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Stephen Maria Tilley
1 John 4:16