Reverend Monsignor Francis John Murphy
Reverend Monsignor Francis John Murphy entered eternal life on September 7, 2019 at the age of 78. He was born September 15, 1940 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Miles and Katherine Murphy. He attended St. Andrew’s School and St. Joseph’s Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Norwood, Ohio and Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. He was ordained on June 4, 1966 at St. Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids by the Most Reverend Allen J. Babcock.
His first summer he was assigned to the Mexican Apostolate, working where needed and then became Assistant Pastor for St. Francis de Sales Parish in Holland. He served as Associate Pastor for Immaculate Conception Parish in Traverse City before becoming Pastor at St. Mary of Hannah Parish and the Mission at Karlin. Msgr. Murphy also served as Pastor for the parishes of St. Joseph in East Tawas, St. James in Whittemore, founding pastor of St. Patrick in Traverse City, Rector of St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, Pastor of Holy Redeemer in Vanderbilt and St. Thomas Aquinas in Elmira, and as Pastor of St. Ann in Cadillac, St. Edward in Harrietta, St. Stephen in Lake City and St. Theresa in Manton. Msgr. Murphy served as Vicar General under Bishops Patrick R. Cooney, Bernard Hebda, and Steven J. Raica, and as Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Gaylord between Bishops Hebda and Raica. During the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of Gaylord, he was named a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI in December of 2011. In 2017 Msgr. Murphy retired to senior priest status and served as Vicar General Emeritus, on the College of Consultors, and as Vicar Forane for the Southwest Region.
Msgr. Murphy also served as a Knights of Columbus chaplain, Spiritual Director for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Director of Priestly Life Board and member of the Presbyteral Council.
When reflecting on Msgr. Murphy, Bishop Steven J. Raica commented, “He was a beloved pastor and friend to so many across the diocese. His wit and wisdom were hallmarks of the joy he had as a priest. His deep love for Christ and His Church was evident all throughout his priestly ministry.”
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at St. Ann Catholic Church from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a vigil service at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted on Monday, September 16, 2019 at 10 a.m. also at St. Ann Catholic Church. Interment will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.