Archbishop Ryan High School recently dedicated a stained glass window in its chapel to the memory of Timothy Connors, a 15-year-old freshman who was hit by a car and died on the afternoon of May 17, 2011.
Timmy would have been a senior this year, and the class of 2014 raised money for the window through a bake sale and flea market.
“We’re very happy. It’s meaningful. This is something that will stay with the school forever,” said senior Jessica Kowalski, who also attended Our Lady of Port Richmond with Timmy.
“Everything we put in, we got twice as much out, maybe even three times,” senior Tyler Kradzinski said of the experience. “A lot of teachers funded it, and that helped a lot.”
The window shows a picture of St. Timothy, with God placing his hands on him. The words read, “In Loving Memory of Timothy Connors. Class of 2014. Take Hold of the Eternal Life to Which You Were Called.”
Martin and Georgette Connors, Timmy’s parents, attended the ceremony, along with their daughters Alaina and Charlotte.
“It’s a fitting image,” Martin Connors said. “It’s a memoriam to Timmy, and it’s a legacy to what these kids are about. It’s the class of 2014’s legacy.”
Sister Frances Antoinette arranged for members of the class of 2014 to sign a giant card in Timmy’s memory, and she helped the seniors raise money for the window.
“It was a very uplifting experience for me,” she said. “Their heart was there. Their soul was there.”
Mike McArdle, Ryan’s president, was in attendance.
“It’s a great tribute to Timothy, and a sign of the strength and courage of the class of 2014,” he said.
The Rev. John Donia offered prayers and blessed the window.
“As the light shines through that stained-glass window, we will always remember the gift of Timothy Connors,” he said.
Timmy was leaving school for the day when he was hit on busy Academy Road as he ran to catch a bus.
Since then, family and friends have marked the first two anniversaries of his death by planting trees in his memory on the grounds of Ryan.
Timmy attended Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, then spent two years at Our Lady of Port Richmond after a neighborhood consolidation of Catholic schools.
Martin Connors, a police detective, writes a blog, “Forever Fifteen,” in memory of his son and hopes to bolster a scholarship fund named in his memory.
Contributions can be made to the Timothy Connors Memorial Scholarship, 11201 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. ••