Fr Christopher Murphy SMA

30 January 2007

Fr Christopher Murphy SMA

Fr Christopher (Chris) Murphy SMA passed away peacefully after a long illness at St Theresa’s Nursing Unit, Blackrock Road, Cork in the late evening of 30 January 2007. Chris was born on Christmas Day 1918 and recently celebrated his 88th birthday.

Chris was born in Mullagh, Co Cavan in the diocese of Kilmore. His family later moved to Moynalty, Kells, Co Meath. He was the youngest of nine children, four girls and five boys. He was brother of the late Sr Celine, Sister of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He completed his early education at Mullagh National School and Kells CBS and finished hus secoindary schooling at the SMA Sacred Heart College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo. He was stirred to become a missionary by a picture in a missionary magazine of a white-bearded missionary moving down a river in a boat. He studied at the SMA houses at Cloughballymore, Co Galway and Dromantine in Co Down. He became a member of the Society of African Missions on 1st july 1941 and was ordained priest on 17 December 1944 in St Colman’s Cathedral, Newry.

His first missionary appointment was to Nigeria where he arrived in June 1946 and where he spent more than 40 years. From 1946-1958 he ministered in the Prefecture of Kaduna which became the Diocese of Kaduna in 1956. He was appointed as Superior of SMA House, Wilton from 1958-1961. From 1961-1974 he again ministered in Kaduna which had become an Archdiocese in 1959. In 1974 he was elected Regional Superior of SMA in Northern Nigeria and was based at Kagoro. He returned to ministry in the Archdiocese of Kaduna from 1979-1987. In 1987 he moved back to Kagoro as Guestmaster at the SMA Regional House. In 1992 ill-health forced him to retire and leave Nigeria. He took up residence at Blackrock Road until he moved to Wilton in 1996. In 2005 he returned to Blackrock Road due to failing health.

His remains reposed at the SMA Chapel, Blackrock Road before removal to the SMA St Joseph’s Parish Church, Wilton on 1st February. The concelebrated Funeral Mass took place on Friday, 2nd Febraury in Wilton and was followed by interment in the adjoining SMA Community Cemetery. Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA, Provincial Superior, was the principal celebrant and preached the homily.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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