Patrick Murphy, a mission support specialist who focuses on northern Peru, is the featured speaker at the Peru Sister Parish annual benefit dinner sponsored by Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton on Friday evening, November 9.
A native of Chicago and graduate of Loyola University there, Murphy believes that “missionary activity is a cornerstone of every Christian’s life. We can all become so much closer with Christ and with our brothers and sisters just by keeping our eyes, ears, and hearts open,” he said in explaining his enthusiasm for working for the struggling parishes in Peru.
Murphy, who began serving the Augustinian Order headquartered in Chicago two and a half years ago, said he felt deeply the important responsibility of sharing the missionary spirit with those in his life, presenting it as a key cornerstone of the church. “It is only through greater solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the world that we can really begin to explore truth through the Lord,” said Patrick, who is currently pursuing certification in Nonprofit Management and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Prince of Peace has maintained a sister parish relationship with a parish in the Chulucanas Diocese for 10 years – since their sister parish, La Virgen Pua y Limpia in Sapillica, was founded. Each year in November, near the parish feast day on November 16, Prince of Peace sponsors an event to aid in raising money to provide for the pastor and deacon who serve their sister parish which encompasses 46 small towns scattered throughout the mountains of the desert highlands.
“I plan to showcase how mission work is a critical part of our vision for the future, and not simply an extra commodity,” said Murphy in explaining his purpose in keynoting the dinner program. The Midwest Province of the Augustinian Order supplies religious priests to Peru, focusing on that region since the days of the Second Vatican Council. Two Chicago-born Augustinian priests have served as bishops of the diocese which was created in 1967, including current Bishop, Most Rev. Daniel Turley who visited Clinton one year ago.
“We focus our top financial priorities on supporting our missions in Peru, providing for our province’s seminarians, and caring for our retired and infirm priests and brothers. Financing these priorities will enable us to continue our key ministries of serving in parish life, education, and missionary work in Peru,” Murphy explained, noting that there are currently 60 men studying for the Augustinian priesthood in Peru.
This year’s benefit dinner will be held at The Tuscany Event Center at Rastrelli’s Restaurant. Tickets are available from members of the Peru Task Force, after the parish masses on the weekends or by calling the parish office at 563-242-3311. Menu choices, including a child’s menu, are available. Entertainment will be by Ron Tegler. A highlight of the evening is the sale of Peruvian crafts. Created by women working in Chulucanas, the proceeds of the sale will benefit the educational program that teaches vocational skills to local women.
Murphy will also report on the status of the sister parish in Sapillica, information he gains through regular communication with Clinton Franciscan Sister Phyllis Morris who has served the Diocese of Chulucanas since it was founded. Sister Morris will be present to introduce Murphy.
“The ‘Clinton Franciscan connection’ was vital to our choosing Sapillica and the Diocese of Chulucanas as the site of our parish missionary effort,” explained Barbara Foster, chair of the Peru Task Force. “Twice we have sent parishioners on pilgrimage to visit Sapillica and establish meaningful relationships with the parishioners there, and we hope to send a third pilgrimage next spring. We know that Patrick’s presentation will make us all eager to visit Peru again,” she added.
For more information on the Peru Benefit Dinner, call 563-242-7611.