Each month, Bishop Hendricken Chaplain Father Christopher Murphy will share thoughts, observations and reflections to help guide us through the Church year.
Monthly Reflections: March 2016, Food is a “Must”
Last year I attended a national conference on Catholic education with several members of the Bishop Hendricken faculty. As a group, we tried to attend as many different workshops as possible and reconvene at the end of the day to compare notes. We enjoyed a good laugh one evening when our director of campus ministry, Tom Gambardella, shared the following piece of advice from a speaker presenting on the essentials of successful faith formation programs: Food is a “must.”
It is certainly true that food serves as a wonderful way to bring people together and foster conversation. On a more sobering note, the truth that food is a must also reminds us that many people in the world, indeed even in our own communities, go without daily meals. Our students confront this reality each year on the Hunger Walk, which raises money to support agencies that assist the poor and marginalized of our society. Not accidently, the Hunger Walk falls on Holy Thursday, which commemorates the moment Jesus instituted the Eucharist. It is fitting that the entire school gathers for a short period of Eucharistic Adoration to pray for those in need before the walk commences. During His years of earthly ministry Christ fought two kinds of hunger in the world. He fed those without physical food. He also fed those hungering and thirsting for God. Both kinds of hunger need satisfying and Christian discipleship demands attention to both. May we always remember the wise insight that food is a must, both physical and spiritual.
About our Chaplain…
Fr. Christopher Murphy grew up a parishioner of St. Brendan Parish in Riverside. He graduated from Our Lady of Fatima High School and Providence College, then studied at St. John’s Seminary near Boston.
Father Murphy was ordained a priest in June, 2012, at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence. In addition to his role at Bishop Hendricken, he serves as an Assistant Vocations Director for the Diocese of Providence. Previously, he served as assistant pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett.
January 2016, The Year of Mercy
Crossing the Threshold to Mercy
We sometimes speak about “windows of opportunity” that open in our life. While windows of opportunity are great, the Church has given us something even better this year: Doors of Mercy. For centuries, Holy Doors have played an integral part in the Church’s celebration of Jubilee Years. The Holy Door symbolizes Christ the door or “the gate” through which we enter eternal life (John 10:9). Traditionally the Church has opened Holy Doors at each of the four Major basilicas in Rome. During this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, however, Pope Francis has decreed that all Cathedral churches open a Holy Door so that Catholics everywhere can participate in this rich and prayerful ceremony. The Holy Door at our own Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul remains open throughout this Jubilee Year, inviting us to rediscover “the God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” (Misericordiae Vultus, 3). We do this especially in the Sacrament of Confession. The Jubilee year has commenced. Doors of Mercy are open.