Msgr. Timothy S. Collins, a former pastor of three parishes in the archdiocese, died Aug. 22 at the Cardinal O’Connor Clergy Residence in the Bronx. He was 86.
He was pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manhattan, 1994-1999, and of St. Barnabas, 1986-1994, and SS. Philip and James, 1982-1986, both in the Bronx. At St. Barnabas he also oversaw the parish’s elementary and high schools.
He was a chaplain at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, 1971-1977, and at Misericordia Hospital, the Bronx, 1977-1982. He also served on the archdiocesan Liturgical Commission and as chairman of the archdiocesan Senate of Priests and of Planning Board 5 in the Bronx. Additionally, he was active in the South Bronx Catholic Association and the Northwest Bronx Clergy Coalition.
Cardinal Dolan celebrated his Funeral Mass Aug. 28 at St. Barnabas Church. The homilist was Msgr. Ferdinando D. Berardi, superior of Casa Santa Maria, a residence for English-speaking priests continuing graduate studies in Rome that is part of Pontifical North American College.
Msgr. Berardi first became acquainted with Msgr. Collins as a high school student at Cathedral Prep. A classmate had asked Ferdinando to join him in teaching religion at St. Margaret Mary parish in the Bronx, where then-Father Collins was residing while serving as a hospital chaplain. “We were both so taken with this quiet, gentle, priest who showed us such attention and support in our budding priestly vocation,” Msgr. Berardi recalled. “You could see that he loved the priesthood.”
Msgr. Berardi and Msgr. Collins would later serve together on the Liturgical Commission.
Because of his background as a Benedictine priest, Msgr. Collins was deeply rooted in prayer, Msgr. Berardi said. “The opening word of The Rule of St. Benedict is ‘ausculta,’ that is, listen. It was his ability to listen to God that, I believe, formed one of the hallmarks of his character: his gift of respectful listening to others…He gave equal and genuine respect to all.”
“He was a Vir Dei, a man of God, a man for whom, no matter what, God and the things of God occupied the place and primacy all throughout his many years…”
Msgr. Collins was also recalled as a voracious reader who was knowledgeable about current events. He had a deep concern for the poor, and quietly assisted those in need.
A former Benedictine priest of the English province, he served on the staff at Porstmouth Priory and was a teacher, track coach and dorm master. He was ordained in 1958 and incardinated into the archdiocese in 1976. He was made a monsignor in 1990. He retired in 1999.
Born in Grosse Pointe, Mich., he attended Bronxville Public School and Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, R.I. He entered the Benedictine Monastery at Portsmouth Abbey. He also studied at Notre Dame University and Benedictine College.
Survivors include his brother Richard and numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Interment was at Holy Mount Cemetery in Eastchester.