Father Joe T.
2023 President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award
What I do to put energy into my life:
I keep a balance of work, prayer and play, regular daily prayer (Liturgy of the Hours), Sunday Mass, Monthly priest support group, keep days off, spend time with my relatives and friends, vacations (travel), 8 years cruise ship chaplain before covid, regular exercise walk to the park and watch the pigeons, geese, ducks, turtles, etc., yearly retreat and study days, professional update, sabbaticals, continuing education, tv, reading (I used to: backpack, climbed up to 18,200 feet above the base camp of Mt. Everest, hike, bicycle, swim and sail).
Why I became a Chaplain:
When I was assigned to a parish in Truckee, I became an EMT and was a chaplain to the volunteer fire department. On a few occasions, I rode along in the ambulance. I also rode along with the local sheriff’s department and highway patrol. If I hadn’t become a catholic priest, I would have become an officer or fire fighter. When I was assigned to a parish in Sacramento the priest assigned me to law enforcement and fire service. I met with Chaplain Mindi who was my senior chaplain and executive director, and she accepted me. I became a chaplain because of my experiences in Truckee, and my compassion for anyone who is hurting in any anyway. My faith in God and his invitation to serve in His name is my motivation. I have a deep love and admiration for those in law enforcement and fire service. Whatever I can do to connect people with their God, especially when they are hurting, is what drives me. As Pope Francis has said we need to “smell like the sheep and walk with others.” My master’s degree is in humanities with a concentration in psychology. My continuing education in physical and psychological first aid has proved to be helpful and affirming.