Other Church institutions, basic communities and small communities, movements, and forms of association are a source of enrichment for the Church, raised up by the Spirit for evangelizing different areas and sectors. Frequently they bring a new evangelizing fervour and a new capacity for dialogue with the world whereby the Church is renewed.
(Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis, 2013)
Mrs. Murphy’s Vision
Mrs. Valerie Murphy is a wife, mother and grandmother as well as co-founder of the Angelus Association. Her involvement with the Charismatic Renewal began in 1979 where she experienced the healing power of God’s love and wanted to share that experience. Mrs. Murphy has undertaken the Spiritual Exercises in the Twentieth and Nineteenth Annotations and has a long history of involvement with Ignatian retreats and literature. With her husband, she co-foundered Moriah Community in 1982. It became a refuge and healing center for the marginalized in central NSW. While ministering to their obvious needs, the Holy Spirit guided her on how to apply God's spiritual gifts in a practical way for the healing of life's hurts. Mrs. Murphy recognised a need existed for the poor to be able to minister to the poor. They developed a support network for those who had no emotional, physical or spiritual support in place. Fr. Doyle became the Chaplain to the Moriah Community as it became a safe haven where people could come and stay.
Fr. Vincent Doyle’s Vision
The original vision of ministry was described by Fr. Doyle as ‘A Vision for the Anawim of Mary Immaculate’. The vision is recorded and has been extracted from original diaries and notes written in his own hand. As always evident in Fr. Doyle’s life was his devotion to Mary as model for all folllowers of Jesus.
‘As a parish priest the Lord placed upon my heart a love and a desire to do something for the Anawim’.
He understood the ‘Anawim’ as the Hebrew word for God’s poor, the humble, the needy, the oppressed. It was to the Anawim that Jesus promised the riches of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5:3 “How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Fr. Doyle believed that this term appled to all of us and especially himself.
The diaries and notes reveal that this prayer ministry with the Anawim nurtured spiritual growth and helped the individuals to embrace their weaknesses. The fruit of this prayer He named as the virtue of Spiritual Poverty. Coming to a point where they truly knew that they can do nothing without God’s help. This became a prayer tool to discipline their thoughts and fears by learning to be still and listen to God through the use of contemplative prayer.
Contemplative Prayer was the cornerstone of Fr. Doyle’s prayer ministry which is grounded in the virtue of Spiritual Poverty. He says ‘the healing ministry is then able to flow from God’s love poured into each of us and we can then pray, commit, support and assist others according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit ‘.
Combining the visions to form a new Association
Flowing from his faithfulness to Pope Paul’s call for new groups and about thirteen years of witnessing the steady progression of people at Moriah using Contemplative Prayer, Inner Healing and Intercessory Prayer led them formalise their vision. In a collaborative effort a group of forty people gathered for the inauguration of the Angelus Association, on the 25th March 1996.
They came from different parts of Australia and each person had personally experienced the healing touch of God’s love. Under the guidance of Father Vincent Doyle and Mrs. Murphy, the group decided to create a community support network for God’s ‘Anawim’, and to provide prayer ministry and teaching resources. These original Anawim members were heavily involved in the rush of activity and many are still actively involved in the Association’s cell groups.