Pastor’s Piece – May 23, 2021

I can’t believe that Easter just ended. It’s not even June and we’ve concluded the Easter Season. But then again, where did the past 25 years that I’ve spent as a priest go?

Last Sunday we successfully launched at SKD what seems like a season’s worth of anniversary celebrations. I anticipate a pleasant gathering of appreciation at SSM this Saturday and Sunday after each Mass. So many of you have expressed your gratitude prior and during this week. Thank you! Additionally, I know that the staff and volunteers have put in some extra effort to make this time special for me. Mission accomplished.

I don’t deserve it all. May be some of it, but really, where would I be without you to serve? I’d look pretty silly wearing my beretta live-streaming an empty church. It is a joy to be appreciated and feel needed. I hope to continue to be of service.

A lot has happened in 25 years. Recently in reading a book by Jacque Phillipe, published in 2002 on spirituality, the author makes references to people not wanting to accept God’s will. He uses examples such as parents who imagine what a great freedom it will be to be able to determine the sex of their child or the child’s eye color. Doesn’t that seem
quaint? Little did he know that in less than 20 years, the parents themselves could determine their own sex, and additionally have a whole palette of genders from which to choose.

I started my first assignment in 1996. I had much to learn about being a priest. Rome was great preparation in many ways, regardless, there was a learning curve in trying to catch up with the latest and greatest in the US. Like, why were there so many commercials saying, “www … .com”? I don’t know how long it took, but I remember
learning that when people asked if I had a computer, they meant, did I have e-mail or did I go online? I was ordained with a computer that had never talked to another computer. I even had a Blockbuster card and a pager. Despite having to take extra time to be kind and rewind and hunt down the nearest landline to return my page, things did get accomplished.

Some very kind and appreciative parishioners were trying to quantify my accomplishments. They came up with 9,125 Masses said. Not to brag, but it is probably more or less, 11,542. I don’t know how many funerals, but I do know that I’ve officiated 194 weddings, and baptized and or confirmed 1,994 souls. If you find yourself among the wedded or initiated-into-faith numbers, please, know that in addition to the prayers that I offer for all of my parishioners, I say some added intentions for you. Thanks for giving me something to do with the life God gave me. In the sage words of a classic rocker from way back in the twentieth century, “Life’s been good to me so far.”

Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Murphy