By Fr. Joseph Tyrrell
My inspiration for running marathons? Well it all began because my feet were killing me. Seriously.
When I started serving as Master of Ceremonies at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 2008 I used to wonder how people can stand for so long. And I noticed that one of my fellow priests – ten years my senior – was not complaining.
His trick, he ran, not much, just a little.
Well, I had always been into sports. I pole vaulted, high jumped and played goalie for my high school hockey team and still bicycled and roller bladed in Central Park. But, according to my aching feet, this clearly was not enough. So, I started running for my health.
In December I started running and in January I began training for the New York City marathon. I have now run in four marathons, three in New York and one in Phoenix.
As a pastor, I talk a lot about the importance of tithing, not just in treasure but in time and talent as well. Tithing in treasure is easy to figure out. I just donate ten-percent of my salary as a pastor. Donating time is easy to figure as well. But figuring out how to donate my talent was tougher. I finally realized that I could run for a good cause and tithe my talent.
For the past 4 years I ran to raise funds for the National MS Society. A priest friend of mine struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. I did a good job, too, raising over $40,000 thanks to generous folks who supported my run.
This year, I chose Catholic Charities as the best way to tithe my talent. Over the past 25 years I have worked closely with them, sending numerous parishioners in crises to them for help. I’ve seen firsthand the good work Catholic Charities does helping children, those facing eviction and those needing support.
Moreover, thanks to Cardinal Dolan and a surprise encounter, witnessing him speed walking, I’m taking my training more seriously. We were in Central Park, and here he comes, rosary in one hand, cigar in the other and he passed me.
I realized I better start running faster. Please wish me luck and support me and Team Catholic Charities in the upcoming NYC ING Marathon.
Help support Fr. Joseph Tyrells’s ING NYC Marathon campaign. Click here to find out how: http://www.crowdrise.com/CatholicCharitiesNYC2013/fundraiser/josephtyrrell