Saturday, July 02, 2005

Reaching out to African church

"Archbishop Michael Courtney was driving down a road in Burundi in a four-wheel-drive jeep in December 2003 when guerrillas ambushed him and shot him to death.

The next day, on Long Island, Bishop William Murphy received a Christmas card mailed earlier by Courtney, a native of Ireland who enjoyed a long friendship with the leader of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The death of the papal envoy to Burundi was devastating to Murphy, but also underscored his ties to the region, he said. Today, Murphy is leaving on a 12-day mission to Africa during which he will visit three nations marred by mass violence and civil war the past 15 years and ride down the same road where his friend was killed."

Bishop Murphy continues to impress me. He is truly a warm and friendly person, intelligent, and the most orthodox bishop we have had here. Long Island is lucky to have him - his critics look more small minded every day.

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