In your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Michael Murphy, who was found dead at his house in Warrington on 11 April.
He had undergone an operation this past Lent and had also had pneumonia. I saw him last at St Mary’s after the Easter Mass and he did look very frail, although in good spirits.
Fr Murphy was my neighbour as Parish Priest at SS Simon and Jude’s in Streatham Hill, London, when I started my ministry in the Southwark Archdiocese in 2001. When our move to Warrington was announced in 2015, it was a surprise to learn in an email from him, that he was a Warringtonian and had come back for retirement in his hometown. He was a great supporter of St Mary’s Choir and Music. Among other involvements, he had sponsored organ formation for one of our young adults and was considering enrolling another in the organ program. He also help meet the costs of the LiveMass installation and sanctuary alarm at St Mary’s. Fr Murphy was well known in town, where he eagerly promoted culture and social interaction.
He was rarely seen wearing clericals and some of those who knew him may not have realised his status as a retired priest. He would still help out as priest chaplain on cruises and, closer to us, in a parish south of Warrington. He also joined us on a couple of occasions for some clergy meals.
His funeral will take place at St George’s Cathedral in Southwark. We at St Mary’s will also have a Mass of Requiem for him. May he rest in peace.
Fr de Malleray