One Pastor – Multicultural Parishes, Part 2

Bishop Christopher Coyne (Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Indianapolis) continues a three-part podcast with Father Robert Murray (Pastor, Saint James and Saint John the Baptist Parishes in Haverhill Massachusetts and a Boston diocesan priest for more than 23 years) discussing what it means to pastor multi-cultural parishes. In this second podcast, Father Murray notes the groundbreaking work of Father Fred O’Brien who began the organized ministry with Hispanic Catholics in Boston. In response to Bishop Coyne’s questions, Father Murray recalls awkward language moments, the edifying patience of the people he served as well as the lessons they taught him, notably ‘Si Dios quiere (If God wills).’ Father Murray remembers discovering, early in his work at Boston’s Cathedral parish, just how important people’s culture is when it comes to the life of prayer and faith. This helps to understand better not only religious practices but to critique false assumptions people have concerning time, family life and other dimensions of culture different from their own.

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One Response to One Pastor – Multicultural Parishes, Part 2

  1. Dan Atkins says:

    I really enjoyed listening to Father Murray’s experiences in multicultural ministry. There is a wonderful small Hispanic community in Corydon. There is also a small group of Anglo parishioners at St. Joe who helped build a bridge between the two communities – through friendship, meals, and sharing Friday night international movies. I miss them a lot. Father Murray was dead-on in his description of the kindness and patience of Hispanic people, with their faith in the providence of God (“si Dios quiere”) and with their fine art of hospitality.

    I remember one time filling out an English pre-nuptial investigation with an Hispanic engaged couple. When we got to the part which asks, “Are you related to your intended spouse by blood or by marriage?” I thought, how do I say this. I asked the young man, “Maria, es su primera?” I had wanted to say, “Maria, is she your cousin?” Instead I said, “Is she your first?” The young man blushed and I knew I had a mistake.

    Hope I can find this spot again. Thanks, Bishop Coyne.

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