Castleknock College Union
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James H. Murphy, class '36

1917 - 1981

Apr 28, 1981
James H. Murphy, class '36 - KnockUnion.ie

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Fr James H Murphy, CM, was a man who inspired great respect and real affection in others.

James Murphy came from Blackrock, Co. Louth. His father, James H. Murphy (1890-94), was a solicitor and Louth County Coroner. He was the eldest of nine children and his four brothers, Dermot, Philip, Gerard and Derek followed him to Castleknock.

After leaving the college James joined the Vincentians. In 1939 he obtained a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at U.C.D. He was ordained in 1943 and did post graduate studies in theology in Maynooth, being awarded a Doctorate in Divinity in 1945.

For the next 22 years James' base was All Hallows College, Drumcondra. Founded in 1842 and under the direction of the Vincentians since 1892 All Hallows is a seminary for the training of Irish priests who wish to serve in English speaking dioceses abroad. There James filled the offices of Dean and Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Sacred Liturgy with considerable distinction. His work load was immense for those were the years when seminaries were full to overflowing. Yet he always enjoyed his work and carried out his duties with energy and thoroughness. He loved to visit his former students whenever the opportunity arose. And it is a mark of the great esteem in which he was held that many scores of them kept in touch with him by letter and never missed an opportunity to call on him when they were at home. For many of them he was All Hallows.

From 1967 to 1970 James served as superior of the Vincentian House of Studies at Rlackrock, Co. Dublin. And in 1970 his many qualities received further recognition when he was appointed secretary to the then Vincentian superior general, Fr. Richardson, in Rome. He filled this latter post with his customary dedication until 1975 when he returned to Dublin as secretary to the Irish Vincentian Provincial in Phibsboro and part time lecturer in All Hallows. The last six years of James' life were very happy ones. He worked with two provincials, Fr. McCullen and Fr. Mullan. When the former was elected superior general in 1980 one of his very first acts was to pay public tribute to James for his assistance and support.

He died in April 1980 after an attack by an intruder in the Vincentian house in Phibsboro. It was a sudden end, however, to a life that many might envy, a life fulfilled in service to the Lord.


Biographical Notes for the Necrology: James Murphy (4, Cabra Road, 1981, aged 64) was born in 1917 in Blackrock, Co Louth. He was educated in Castleknock and joined the community in 1936. He was ordained in 1943, spent two years (1943-45) in Maynooth doing his doctorate in theology and was appointed to All Hallows. In 1961-62 he re-wrote the Zualdi- O’Callaghan-Sheehy book The Sacred Ceremonies of Low Mass. In 1967 he became superior in Glenart, and then in St Joseph’s. In 1970 he was appointed to Rome as secretary to the Superior General, returning to Dublin in 1975 as Provincial Secretary in 4, Cabra Road, where he met his death by a knife wound from an intruder.