It’s fitting that this Sunday afternoon, there’s a special celebration at Tacoma’s STAR Center for Sr. Peg Murphy, a dear friend and mentor. In 2000, after teaching and parish and community advocacy careers, the Tacoma Dominican (TD) Community and the dreamers who founded Catherine Place tapped Peg to serve as director of the fledgling organization.
Embodying the Spirit of a Namesake
The choice would prove to be a wise one. Fifteen years later, more than 1,500 women turn to Catherine Place (http://www.catherineplace.org) each year. Although Peg always reminds us that Catherine Place “could never be about one person,” it’s hard to imagine a founding director who could better embody the spirit of Catherine Place’s namesake – Catherine of Siena.
Compassion, Wisdom & Resourcefulness
From 2008 to 2014, I had the opportunity to witness Peg’s compassion, wisdom, and resourcefulness. Like Catherine of Siena, a 14th century Dominican, Peg works tirelessly and fearlessly at Catherine Place and through her work with organizations such as Nativity House, St. Leo’s Parish, and the Tacoma Dominican community to affect positive change in our society.
I watched Peg’s passion for Catherine Place’s mission of improving the quality of life for women and her welcoming, nurturing spirit embolden women on the margins – many of whom were navigating the daily challenges associated with poverty, violence, loss, immigration, and chronic health conditions.
Bringing Out the Best in People and Our World
Knowing Peg made me a better woman and a wiser, more compassionate human being. Her generosity and dedication inspire me and reach around the globe. During Maher Founder & Director Sr. Lucy Kurien’s 2013 visit, Peg quietly tucked an interspiritual pendant that she wore almost daily into Sr. Lucy’s purse. Ever since discovering the treasured gift that she had so admired in her bag, Sr. Lucy is seldom seen without it.
Peg has a gift of knowing what is needed and offering it — without fanfare. Her students, her colleagues and clients, the women of Catherine Place and the Tacoma Dominican community were blessed the day she arrived on America’s shore.
Wherever I am, I’m stronger knowing there’s a Catherine Place in our world. If you’re in Tacoma this Sunday, I would like it more than anything if you would stop by Tacoma’s STAR Center and give Peg a hug for me . . . and don’t be surprised if a MIRACLE happens.
Celebrating Sr. Peg Murphy,, Sun., Oct. 25, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Tacoma’s STAR Center , 3873 S. 66 St. To RSVP or donate, visit www.catherineplace.org