Father Richard Murphy
July 30, 1931 - April 29, 2012
Father Richard Murphy
Father Richard Murphy, Pastor Emeritus of Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, Fort Pierce, Florida, died in the loving care of the Carmelite Sisters, Lourdes Pavilion, West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday, April 29, 2012. Born to Rita and Michael Murphy on July 30, 1931, in Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland, he attended the local grade school before enrolling at Saint Munchin’s High School, Limerick. Having graduated from Saint Munchin’s in 1950, he commenced his studies for the priesthood at Ireland’s National Seminary, Saint Patrick’s college in Maynooth, for priestly ministry in his native Diocese of Limerick. Seven years later, on June 23, 1957, he was ordained to the priesthood. Since there was a surplus of priests in the Diocese of Limerick, his then Bishop gave him permission to come to work on a temporary basis to the Church of Florida, then clamoring for priests. He came to the Diocese of Saint Augustine, which at the time covered all of Florida from Tallahassee to Key West.
His first assignment was to Blessed Sacrament Parish, Tallahassee, as an assistant pastor. It was followed by a similar assignment at Saint Paul’s Parish in Saint Petersburg. Four years later, his Limerick Bishop recalled him for service there, where he spent eight years assisting in three different parishes. His sense of mission work in Florida, however, combined with echoes of the Florida people calling him to return, prompted him to ask his Bishop to permanently permit him to rejoin the community of diocesan priests then ministering in the Sunshine State. With his Bishop’s blessing, he returned to Florida in 1970.
Priestly assignments took him to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Daytona Beach, to Saint James Parish in Orlando, now the Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Orlando, and to Holy Spirit Parish in Mims, his first pastorate. Three years later he was appointed Pastor of Saint Mark the Evangelist in Fort Pierce, where he served superbly until retiring from the pastorate in 2002. While at Saint Mark’s, he was also appointed Dean of the Northern Deanery of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Although retired from the office of Pastor, he wished to continue priestly ministry to people, and did so on weekends at Holy Redeemer Parish in Palm City, where his former assistant, Father Martin B. Mulqueen, is pastor. He assisted there from 2002 to the end of 2011, when his final illness made it impossible for him to work. He is survived by his brother, John Murphy, and his sister, Mary Twomey, living in Ireland, and many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, as well as many, many loving friends.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Gerald Barbarito and concelebrated by priests present at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 1454 SW Mapp Road, Palm City, Florida 34990, at 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 3rd.
There will be “viewing” at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Wednesday, May 2nd, in the afternoon, from 2:00 until 4:00, and in the evening from 6:00 until 8:00. A wake service will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. Burial will be in Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach.
May he rest in peace!
Yates Funeral Home in Fort Pierce-Port Saint Lucie is handling the funeral arrangements.