As the first year progressed Jack and I had conversations deep into the night as to what we could do systemically to make a difference in the lives of others. The topics that we focused on beyond the ordinary functions that we were required to meet daily were Adult Education,Social justice and developing better relationships with the Temple and the Protestant Churches. The first of these ambitious goals was relatively simple considering the depth of talent we had in the parish.You could not name an occupation or a skill that was not only resident in our community but openly willing to volunteer their time and expertise. In a years’ time we had an outstanding adolescent and adult education center that had a positive impact on the parish. Jack and I both taught in the adult classes and we literally created a school hierarchy for the CCD end of the venture. Due to the overwhelming resources at our disposal tactics were quickly replaced by strategy. It would have been foolish to ignore the women and men who wished only to serve and contribute to the welfare of others.
Jack and I performed a lot of these programs under the total secrecy program and we used the expertise of anyone who could contribute extra curtains to block out the lights in the school which could be seen by the rectory binoculars. Putting on lights unnecessarily was a capital sin in the pastor’s eyes. As things progressed it appeared that Jack and I drew energy not only from the volunteers but also from each other. I watched him grew in leaps and bounds and it was obvious how much he was already loved and respected.
One of the parts of his magnetic personality was that those who marched to the sound of a different drum found him to be a welcome port for listening and understanding. One night while I was on duty the phone rang and the caller asked for Father Murphy. I inquired “is this an emergency” because it was 3 o’clock in the morning.? The woman on the other end said “whenever I have a problem I talk to my psychiatrist, my husband, my boyfriend or Father Murphy. Tonight I could not choose which one so I put their names in a hat and pulled out Father Murphy’s name.” I asked her to wait and walked down to Jacks room. He was sound asleep so I shook him and said “wake up Jack you just won a raffle.”