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 Rev. Paul Michael Murphy

The Rev. Paul Michael Murphy, much beloved parish priest of St. Joseph Church at Emmitsburg, suffered a fatal heart attack on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009.

This coming May 26, Fr. Paul would have celebrated 50 years of priesthood of the Catholic Church in the religious community of the Congregation of the Mission, commonly known as the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers. This gentle man served God's Catholic and non-Catholic people wherever he ministered. "His life was his homily," notes one of his admiring and grateful parishioners.
Fr. Paul received his primary education at Holy Rosary/Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his high school education at St. John's Preparatory School in Brooklyn. He made his religious profession of the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability in the Vincentian Community on June 11, 1954. After completing studies in philosophy and theology, he was ordained a priest May 26, 1960. He earned a licentiate in philosophy at the University of Fribourg at Switzerland in 1963.

During Fr. Paul's almost half-century of priesthood, he served as instructor and director of Novices at St. Vincent de Paul Novitiate at Ridgefield, Conn., and Mary Immaculate Seminary at Northampton, Pa. (1963 to 1967); a preacher of parish missions, novenas and retreats at Springfield, Mass. (1967 to 1968), at Groveport, Ohio (1968 to 1969), at Spring Lake, Mich. (1969 to 1971), and at Philadelphia (1972 to 1974). Fr. Paul taught part time at Niagara University at Niagara Falls, N.Y. (1975 to 1981), and at St. John's University, Staten Island, N.Y. (1981 to 1988). Outgoing to everyone and easily approachable, Fr. Paul served as parish priest at St. Mary's Church at Greensboro, N.C., (1988 to '89), Immaculate Conception Church in Philadelphia, Pa. (1971 to 1972 and 1989 to 1991), in pastoral ministry at St. Vincent's Seminary (1991 to 2007), and at St. Joseph Church in Emmitsburg (2007 to 2009).

Having been predeceased by his parents, Michael and Bridget McKevitt Murphy, and his brother Owen, he is survived by his two sisters, Margaret Moran and Eileen Crowley, both of whom reside in Queens, N.Y.; and by five nieces and five nephews.

The viewings will take place from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, with wake service and the rosary at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at St. Joseph Church, 47 DePaul St., Emmitsburg. The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the church.

At St. John's University in Queens, New York City, a viewing will take place at St. Thomas More Church from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, with the Mass of the Resurrection at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18. Interment will be held at the Vincentian Cemetery at St. Joseph's Seminary, Princeton, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Fr. Paul may be made to Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, 500 E. Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144, or St. Joseph Church for the benefit of the poor, P.O. Box 376, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

If you knew Father Paul, and would like to see him remembered
 in the next History of Emmitsburg, Please send us any stories or
 anecdotes about him to us at: history@emmitsburg.net