Father J. Edwin Thayer Tewes, former Parish Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville, is remembered as someone who united his sufferings at the cross of Christ during a funeral mass at Holy Trinity on the 27th August. He died on August 17 at the age of 65.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde, and dozens of diocesan priests concelebrated Mass.
Father Michael J. Roach, pastor of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Hampstead, Maryland, and professor at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, was the homilist. He met Father Tewes while he was a student in seminary.
“The priesthood of Jesus Christ is no small privilege. The Book of Hebrews reminds us that this is not something that we seek on our own but rather when God calls him, “he is able to deal with sinners with gentleness for he himself is beset with weakness.” said Father Roach. “Theologians tell us that priests should have a heart modeled on the heart of the master – ‘strong, loving and wise.’
Father Roach said he knew Father Tewes would like him to ask for prayers to keep his time in Purgatory short. “It is a holy and healthy thing to pray for the dead,” said Father Roach. “He loved Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and the Diocese because of their traditional tendency. His was this deeply rooted devotional Catholicism. It was a beautiful charity.
Father Tewes suffered from health problems. “I believe there is a certain economy of suffering,” said Father Roach. “There are brave souls who shoulder the burden of suffering that others might avoid. I think I saw that at Father Tewes. He has suffered so much over the past year and a half. He never let his suffering consume him. He was right.
Father Roach reminded those in attendance that it was a day of hope. “Please pray for him and for all he served so well, whether it was his beloved Bishop Ireton (Alexandria High School) or the many parishes he knew, and even the wicked streets of West Baltimore. ”
“As Father Roach mentioned in his homily, Father Eddie showed us what it means to unite our lives, our sufferings, to the cross of Christ,” said Bishop Burbidge.
“Perhaps today Father Eddy encourages all of us who can carry a cross at this time in our lives to unite him to the cross of the Lord in the confidence that he will always give us the hope of grace and strength to carry this cross, ”said Bishop Burbidge.
“We’ve been friends for 23 years,” said Jeanne Corvetti, a parishioner at St. Patrick’s Church in Fredericksburg who met Father Tewes at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fredericksburg. “He loved children and my children gravitated around him. He has become a dear friend.
“He had a great sense of humor,” said Martha Prokop, parishioner at St. Stephen the Martyr’s Church in Middleburg. “He was very sensitive but very pious and devoted to his faith. He worked hard to get things up to standard and always had a little joke or a funny story. ”
Father Tewes was ordained a priest by Bishop John R. Keating at St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington on May 18, 1996.
He served as Parish Vicar of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fredericksburg (1996-2000), St. Timothy Church in Chantilly (2000-04), St. Luke Church in McLean (2004 -06), St. Ambrose Church in Annandale (2006-10), St. Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville (2010-15) and Holy Trinity (2015-18).
Interment took place at Fairfax Memorial Park.