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Archbishop Murphy converses with a young man after mass in April of 1997 – several months prior to his death.

A last chance to minister to young people

Archbishop Murphy knew full well the very serious nature of his disease. He viewed each new day as a true gift – one to be lived to the fullest. Interacting with young people energized him in a way that few of other aspects of his ministry did. Seattle University gave him the honor of presiding at the Baccalaureate Mass for the Class of 1997 – just 13 days prior to his death.

He opened his homily by saying, “In all of our lives, there are beginnings and endings. Rarely does the same event celebrate both realities. … Yet, that is what we do this afternoon. We celebrate the ending of an educational experience that equips us with knowledge and skills, competencies and abilities that enable us to live out our vocation in the years ahead. Yet, paradoxically, we also celebrate a new beginning, a beginning that challenges us to ask ourselves how do we use the gifts that have been given to us during our years at Seattle University.”

The archbishop concluded with the following thought, “My friends, may you dare to become poets, lunatics and lovers who dare to share your gifts with others – with no conditions, no strings attached. When you do, then what we celebrate today is not an ending, but a new beginning that can make all the difference. May you have the courage and faith to do so. Congratulations to you, the 1997 graduates of Seattle University.”

Click here to read the full text of Archbishop Murphy’s homily

Click here to read Archbishop Murphy’s May 22, 1997 Catholic Northwest Progress “In Joy and Hope” column on the significance of graduation – “A significant moment”

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