By Deacon Sal Lema
Let me introduce to you the Murphy’s. Husband Danny, wife Kathy, children, James Nolan and Maggie. Just your typical home-grown Arizona family, except for one major item; James their first-born son was one of our first recorded baptisms. He was Baptized at St. Thomas More in the cafeteria of Copper Creek Elementary School on December 15, 1997. Officiating the baptism was a younger Fr. Jim Turner and Deacon Roy. If you look real close at the picture, you will see along with the Murphy’s who held baby James and Fr. Jim who is seen pouring water over their child with his hand, what is now on display in the church this week; namely the infamous ‘punch bowl’ that was used for baptisms until the church was built.
The Murphy’s like most family’s today want only the best for their children. They were cradle Catholics who over their faith life attended, several Catholic churches, St. Francis, St. Augustine, and St. Luke’s to name a few. They also searched the avenues of Christ’s Church of the Valley and other non-denominational churches, before attending STM. Those other places were fine for great bands, spirited music, and volunteer ministries; but when it came to receiving the true gifts from God, namely the sacraments, they returned to their belief and to God’s church. Because they wanted the best for their children. Danny said, “We thought about the sacraments and wanted to keep Christ in our hearts”, we wanted our children to receive the sacraments and be a part of our faith.”
So, the Murphy’s joined STM and had all three of their children, James, Nolan and Maggie, baptized here. The Murphy family moved to Iowa, for four years during a company transfer. There the children received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
Returning to Arizona, Danny and Kathy rejoined STM and resumed their volunteer work teaching baptism preparation classes with Judy Rodgers and volunteering as an usher. James, Nolan and Maggie each resumed their pursuit and fulfillment of Confirmation and volunteering; at times, even working with their dad as an usher.
They still remember the baptism for their first born. They were only in the parish about a month and a half. Baby James wore Danny’s baptismal garment. There were no preparation classes then. James’ God Parents were Danny’s cousins, Julie and Dave Deckwa. Kathy remembers that James was about six-months old and he didn’t even cry during the baptism.
James, now a young man of twenty, who through the eyes of his parents is considered, academic, faithful, and structured, is a junior at U of A majoring in computer science. When asked about the role model his parents are, James replied, “They definitely showed me what faith is. We attended church every Sunday—it was neat!”
James plays piano, some trombone, dabbles in sports and loves video games.October 19, 2017