The Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award is presented to a parish for its outstanding work in Christian stewardship formation in honor of the late Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy. Archbishop Murphy was an ardent supporter of ICSC and a passionate promoter of Christian stewardship. He died in June 1997, and this award is a fitting tribute to his memory.
La Purisima Catholic CommunityOrange, CaliforniaThe Reverend Vincent Pham, Pastor
La Purisima can trace its roots back to 1895, when as a mission parish it served Mexican Catholic migrant field workers. During the 1950s and beyond, the area experienced an influx of Anglo population growth, and in 1975, many Vietnamese families settled in La Purisima’s parish boundaries with the help of Catholic Charities. The previous church building was built in 1924, and because of the growth of the community, it was apparent that a larger church would be needed. With the parish’s commitment to stewardship, the journey began to build a cohesive intercultural community while at the same time coming together as a community to build a new church. Because of its commitment to stewardship formation, the parish community together was able to dedicate a new church in 2005, and because of its commitment to stewardship, is close to paying off the mortgage.
La Purisima Catholic Community has been committed to stewardship as a way of life since 2001. The constant challenge has been, “How can we bring our culturally diverse communities together in a way that honors our one Catholic faith?” Every year in the fall, the parish community conducts an annual stewardship renewal and ministry fair in three languages. A stewardship prayer is read at every Mass in the context of the liturgy. Lay witnesses provide testimonies in three languages. Stewardship is very visible in this vibrant intercultural community, including tri-cultural Masses. From a weekly stewardship column in the bulletin, to banners prominently displaying stewardship themes, to a parish video that features the many cultures actively engaged in parish life, stewardship is celebrated in a multicultural context. The stewardship board consists of leaders of each of the cultures and includes the pastor, parochial vicar, pastoral council chair and finance board chair. Together, the parish is committed to living stewardship, and marvels at God’s faithfulness in using their simple offerings of time, talent nd treasure to transform the lives of many.
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