by Kara Hansen
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It was a good job, said Tim Chik of his work as a general manager for Drury Hotels.
But at the end of the day, it was not enough.
Chik missed ministry — working in a position that provided him the opportunity to bring others closer to Christ.
So when the position of director of Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kan., became available, following the announcement of Eileen Manza’s retirement, it seemed like a perfect fit.
“I was attracted to this position because I felt that it would be the best fit for my talents and would allow me to use my business and hospitality skills, while working for the Catholic Church,” said Chik. “I have been yearning to return to service to the Lord in my occupation, and I am delighted to be here at the Savior Pastoral Center.”
Most recently, Chik was a general manager for the first Drury Inn and Suites in the Phoenix market.
“Drury is a wonderful, Catholic family-owned and operated company that has hotels throughout the country,” said Chik. “I was fortunate to manage hotels for the Drury family in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Arizona.”
Positive as his experience was, Chik felt drawn back to a position that would utilize his theological background — and feed his faith in ways a secular career could not.
Prior to working for Drury, Chik taught theology at St. Louis University High School for six years, where he also coached track and cross-country. He served at the school an additional three years as pastoral director, coordinating liturgies, prayer services, retreats and community service for the students.
“I believe that my experiences as a hotel general manager will help me run the business side of Savior and move us toward long-term sustainability,” said Chik. “Then, my teaching and pastoral experiences will help me connect to the ministry side of Savior and continue the great history of the movement of the Holy Spirit in the retreats that are held at Savior Pastoral Center.”
Chik holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and spent two years discerning a vocation to the priesthood at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, before ultimately determining that God had a different vocation in mind for him.
“We interviewed several qualified applicants,” said Father Gary Pennings, vicar general of the archdiocese. “Tim, however, had the right mixture of hospitality management experience, coupled with experience teaching theology and leading retreats.”
Savior Pastoral Center is regularly home to a variety of conferences, workshops and retreats with a space that can accommodate up to 350 participants and 85 overnight guests. As director of the pastoral center, Chik books reservations, oversees the facility, and works with groups using the space.
“I am looking forward to seeing the faces of the retreatants as they undergo spiritual renewal,” said Chik. “Additionally, I am looking forward to seeing the building and grounds continue to grow in beauty, as we make upgrades and improvements to interior and exterior parts of the center, and getting to know the great staff here at Savior. Finally, I am looking forward to many years of grace, in maintaining the spirit of truth, beauty and goodness that permeates the halls of the Savior Pastoral Center.”
The passion for faith that Chik brings to the table is what made him the best candidate for the job, said Father Pennings.
“Tim demonstrated a genuine enthusiasm for serving the church and working with other church entities to make Savior Pastoral Center an effective tool for the church’s evangelization, catechetical and hospitality ministries,” he said. “Tim also showed a great zeal for expanding Savior’s appeal to organizations both within and outside of the archdiocesan church structure.”
Taking the position as director of Savior Pastoral Center meant moving back to the Midwest for Chik and his family. It was a move he and wife Stacy and children — Emma, 7, and Timmy, 6 — welcomed.
Chik said it brings them closer to family and friends living in the area, and back to their Midwestern roots.
“My family and I have been living in Phoenix for a while, and I have missed the Midwestern hospitality and kindness,” said Chik. “Since I’ve been here, I have had so many people call me, e- mail me, and stop by, just to say, ‘Welcome.’
“It fills my heart to return to the goodness of the Heartland.”