Father Murphy Honored at Farewell Reception

West Tennessee Catholic
Diocesan News
July 18, 2002

Residents of St. Peter Manor recently honored Fr. James W. Murphy with a farewell reception thanking him for his service as Sacramental Minister for St. Peter Village in Midtown Memphis.

"My two years with the people here was sheer bliss," Fr. Murphy told a crowd in the Madonna Circle Activities Center after Mass in the Chapel. "No other words would suffice to describe how much I appreciate all the folks at the Manor and St. Peter Villa Nursing Home,"

"In all of my 54 years in the priesthood, I've never had such a wonderful send-off. I will remember this for the rest of my days," he said.

He was honored, too, in a homily by Deacon John Hivner during Mass.

"A prayerful man is this man, a person who prays for those in greatest need," said Deacon Hivner, the Manor's Pastoral Services Director. "How many times have I seen him in deep meditation, or calling upon God to help the flock?

"He celebrates the Eucharist for the peoples he serves. It is one of the most important things in his life. Through all the years I have known him, he has been a servant to the sick and the elderly — not for money, wealth or power — but because there was a need. It is because he loves people from the bottom of his heart, as God has commanded.

"Father Murphy, you are a treasure in an earthen vessel," Deacon Hivner added.

As a boy, Fr. Murphy attended St. Patrick Grade School, and graduated from Christian Brothers High School. He was in the class of 1940, the last year the school was on Adams Street.

A graduate of Kenrick Seminary, he was ordained by Bishop William L. Adrian at Blessed Sacrament Church in Memphis. Fr. Murphy served as associate pastor for six years, at Sacred Heart and St. Thomas parishes in Memphis. He served as a pastor for 25 years, at Immaculate Conception in Union City, and St. Anthony, St. James and Our Lady of Sorrows, all in Memphis. He later served 14 years as minister for out-of-town patients in the hospitals of Midtown Memphis.

"So, today I say goodbye, and hope to see you again," Fr. Murphy told the crowd. "We don't know what's ahead, but we know the one who holds the future in His hands — and that's enough for me!" _ Submitted by Mary Baltz, St. Peter Manor


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.