Father Richard William Timm, C.S.C., a Catholic missionary priest at the age of 97.
To some, he was a humanitarian. To others, he was an educator. To all, he was a legend.
Timm was born in Michigan City on March 2nd, 1923. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School and then St. Mary’s High School. Taught by Holy Cross Sisters, he served our local parish as an altar boy.
Timm was ordained a priest in June of 1949 before earning his doctorate degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.. In 1952, he followed God’s calling to Bangladesh where he served the local community for the vast majority of his adult life.
Upon his arrival in Bangladesh, Timm pioneered a science department at St. Gregory’s College in Dhaka, introducing biological sciences and research to students there. In 1970, he spearheaded relief operations along the coast of Bengal after a devastating typhoon thrashed the region.
A man whose wisdom was well ahead of its time, he championed aid to all regardless of religion, belief, ethnicity, and race. Timm also participated in the Liberation War of Bangladesh and received a special award for his efforts.
He founded the Justice and Peace Commission in 1974 where he served as executive secretary for over two decades. Timm was also a prominent figure in establishing the Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh, the Coordinator Council for Human Rights in Bangladesh, and the South Asia Forum for Human Rights.
Timm discovered at least 250 nematodes, a group of worms that make up the phylum Nematoda. For “his 35 years of sustained commitment of mind and heart to helping Bangladeshis build their national life”, he was bestowed the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, the equivalent of Asia’s Nobel Prize.
The Funeral Mass will be held Friday, September 18th at 3:30 pm at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Indiana. Memorial contributions can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at donate.holycrossusa.org .
Link to Obituary
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