Have you ever heard that when people retire, they are busier than they were before? Pete and Jan DeHaven would most certainly agree with that statement. They both happily stay busy with activities at St. Timothy’s and in the wider community. Pete and Jan have been parishioners here ever since our parish’s beginnings.
The DeHavens both serve as greeters and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
“When you serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, you feel closer to God,” Jan says. “The Hospitality Ministry is more social. You get to interact with people and get to know them.”
When he can, Pete uses those interactions to encourage people to get involved at St. Timothy’s.
Pete and Jan share a lot of their stewardship efforts with the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store — Jan works at the store on Fridays, while Pete handles the pick-up and delivery of furniture items. The pick-up is for donations to the store, and the drop-off is for families in need.
“The store offers reasonably priced items for those in need,” Jan says. “I enjoy working with people and helping those most in need.”
Pete and Jan’s two children both went through the Religious Education program at St. Timothy’s, and they were involved in Youth Ministry activities — Pete and Jan often went with them as chaperones. They attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) several times. Pete and Jan now have two grandchildren whom they enjoy spending time with.
“We saw a need, so we stepped in to help,” Pete says. “NCYC gave them the awareness of how big the Catholic faith really is and how many young Catholics there are.”
Pete is also involved with the parish Men’s Group, and he enjoys spending time with other men who share the same values.
In addition, the DeHavens have both been involved with Feeding Tampa Bay around Christmastime. Jan and Pete, along with their children and now grandchildren, have helped around the holidays by handing out food and helping the guests find Christmas gifts for family members.
“It’s important for kids to see the service part of living,” Jan says. “It’s not just school and play. They need to see what it means to help others.”
Raised in the Orthodox Church, Pete became Catholic many years ago. He enjoyed going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process here at St. Timothy’s and learning much more about the Catholic faith — he acknowledges that he knows more about the Roman Catholic faith than he ever did about the Orthodox faith.
“I would come home and discuss what I learned with Jan,” Pete says. “I’ve enjoyed being part of this community and getting to know people.”
In their free time, Pete and Jan enjoy traveling, especially going on cruises. They also enjoy attending their grandchildren’s events.