Pastor offers innovative way to support Bishop’s Appeal

DE PERE — Norbertine Fr. Tim Shillcox has found a way to put his artistic talents and his desire to live simply together to help his parish reach its goal for the 2017 Bishop’s Appeal.

Fr. Shillcox, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, held a “Tag Sale” in the parish hall Feb. 25. Up for sale were around 30 art objects and mementos he’s collected and had displayed at his parish office or his room at St. Norbert Abbey, where he lives.

Patrick Hopkins, left, talks to Norbertine Fr. Tim Shillcox, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in De Pere, as his family, which includes daughter Katie, center, and wife Tracy, look at items for sale at Fr. Shillcox’s “Tag Sale” held Feb. 25. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

He put a price tag of $25 on each item and invited parishioners to stop by and purchase an item. All money raised goes to help pay for his parish’s Bishop’s Appeal goal.

“This is the fourth one I’ve done,” Fr. Shillcox told The Compass as guests perused the tables with his items. “I’m trying to thin out stuff for my room and my office. Plus, it’s a reminder about the Bishop’s Appeal.”

He came up with the idea to sell his art (which includes pottery he has made and framed photographs he has taken) several years ago when the parish was struggling to make its Bishop’s Appeal goal.

“I was just trying to think of ways to stir the pot,” he said. Plus, his room “was like a museum. I didn’t have any closet space, everything was on the wall or out on display.”

The Tag Sale was born and it’s been a success.

“I’ve done this three times before and raised cumulatively about $2,500 toward the goal and helped myself to live more simply in the vow of poverty,” he said. In a follow-up email, Fr. Shillcox said the 2017 Tag Sale raised more than $600.

Patrick Hopkins, along with his wife Tracy and daughter Katie, was happy to help Fr. Shillcox meet his goals.

“Fr. Tim is leaving in a few months and we’ve been pretty close with him,” said Hopkins, alluding to the pastor’s pending reassignment to another parish, “so we wanted something to remember him by.”

Hopkins said the Tag Sale is “a great example for the parish.”

“It’s him doing his own part for the Bishop’s Appeal,” said Hopkins. “Some of these things are much more valuable than what he’s asking for … but it’s wonderful that he just puts a price on it and gives it to the Bishop’s Appeal.”

Lynn Fink, another Tag Sale shopper and parishioner who also serves as technology coordinator for Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) School System, said parishioners enjoy having mementos of their beloved pastor.

“It’s his last year here and people are like, ‘I want a keepsake from him,’” she said. “A lot of times he puts his name on things, or a message, so I think that’s important to them. They cherish his opinion and his artwork and his faith and these are all part of his journey, a memory of his journey.”

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