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Bishop Timlin celebrates 60th anniversary as a priest

Scranton Bishop Emeritus James C. Timlin celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood at a Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral in July. This is also his 35thyear as a bishop.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John M. Dougherty and priests of the Diocese will concelebrate the Eucharistic liturgy. Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, a priest of the Diocese who currently serves as vice president for University Mission and Ministry at Fordham University in New York, will be the homilist.

Bishop Timlin is a city native who received his grade school education at St. John the Evangelist in South Scranton and Holy Rosary in North Scranton. He graduated from Holy Rosary High School and St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md.

He attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore before enrolling in the North American College, Rome, Italy, where he completed his studies for the priesthood.

Bishop Timlin was ordained on July 16, 1951, in Rome by the late Bishop Martin J. O’Connor, then-rector of North American College.

When asked for his thoughts on his 60thanniversary, Bishop Timlin said he had always wanted to be a priest and “was so grateful that God called him to priesthood and has allowed him to serve for so many years.”

After ordination he continued theology studies in Rome before returning to the Diocese, where he was appointed assistant pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Pittston, in 1952. On June 12, 1953, he became assistant pastor of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish, Scranton, where he served until Sept. 12, 1966, when he was named assistant chancellor of the Diocese and secretary to the late Bishop J. Carroll McCormick, the sixth Bishop of Scranton.

He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton on Aug. 3, 1976. He was ordained a bishop in St. Peter’s Cathedral on Sept. 21, 1976. At that time he also became Vicar General of the Diocese. In September, 1979, he became pastor of the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord, Scranton.

The late Cardinal John J. O’Connor, the seventh Bishop of Scranton, appointed him chairman of the Board of Advisors for St. Pius X Seminary, and chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Diocesan Synod in the summer of 1983.

Upon the cardinal’s transfer to the Archdiocese of New York in March, 1984, Bishop Timlin was elected diocesan administrator by the Diocesan Board of Consultors.

Pope John Paul II appointed him the eighth Bishop of Scranton on April 24, 1984, and his installation followed on June 7.

Following his retirement in 2003, Bishop Timlin served as administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Wilkes-Barre for several months. The next year he became rector of Villa St. Joseph in Dunmore, the diocesan residence for retired priests, a position he held until July 11.

Bishop Timlin turned 84 on August 5.

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