Parish Of Birth
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland
Details Of Ordination
Bishop : 1976 – 6/10/1996
Diocesan Mission in Peru
Ministry – USA
Ordained Coadjutor BIshop of Cork and Ross on 23 May 1976. Succeeded Bishop Lucey on 23 August 1980.
Date Of Death
Place Of Death
His home, Lee Road, Cork
Place Of Burial
Grounds of North Cathedral, Cork
Bishop Michael Murphy 1924-1996 After ordination on June 19, 1949, Fr. Murphy was sent on loan to American Missions 1949-1955 serving in Washington DC, where he worked among new migrants. On his return to the diocese, he was appointed to Ballingeary, Co. Cork for a year. In 1956, he moved to St. Mary?s Cathedral, Cork, as curate (1956-1961).
He then volunteered for mission work with the Society of St. James the Apostle and worked in the Andes of Peru 1961-1964; he returned to Peru in early 1965 with Frs. Paddy Leader and Michael Crowley from Cork and Ross to establish a mission in the coastal shanty town near Trujillo. The mission was formally established on St. Patrick?s Day 1965. (It closed on St. Patrick?s Day 2004.)
He was recalled to Cork in 1969 to become President of the diocesan college, St. Finbarr?s College, Farranferris, a position he held until Apr. 1, 1976, when he was appointed Titular Bishop of Sila and Coadjutor Bp. of Cork and Ross with the right of succession.
He was ordained bishop on May 23, 1976, at St. Mary?s Cathedral, Cork. He succeeded to Cork and Ross on Aug. 23, 1980; His episcopal motto was: Omnium sum minister (?I am servant of all.?)
In September 1981, he announced a major diocesan scheme with the creation of six new parishes, the engagement of three religious orders ? Capuchins, Vincentians and Sacred Heart Fathers ? in the running of parishes; and a revision of parish boundaries and adjustments in other parishes. On that occasion he said: ?This is a plan for parish renewal and not merely the adjustment of physical boundaries ? Parish renewal means people feeling more attachment to the Church and finding more opportunities for involvement in it ??
The 1980s was a decade of economic depression and high unemployment in Cork and this topic was never far from the bishop?s thoughts. A person?s worth, said the bishop, was not measured by what he owned or by what work he did but rather by his inner dignity and his likeness to God. A person?s true worth reflected itself in the quality of his relationship with other people, with his own family, his neighbours and fellow citizens. People should not be humiliated in seeking unemployment benefits, he said, but many were unhappy at the manner in which benefits were paid. Bishop Murphy appealed to the Government to improve the process and safeguard the dignity of the unemployed worker. It was understandable, he said, that property owners and workers in secure jobs could become exclusively preoccupied with their own interests when living standards generally were falling. ?The trouble is that certain people can secure their own material advantage only at the cost of others losing their jobs or their chance of ever getting a job.? He added: ?There was never more need for the patriotism of buying Irish-made goods and of ensuring that Irish goods are worth buying.?
In the early 1990s when rain leaked through the roof of the Cathedral, Bishop Murphy launched a major drive to restore and refurbish the Cathedral so that it could be ?a Cathedral we can all be proud of again?. The bishop?s dream was realised with the support of people and clergy from across the diocese and beyond and it was to be the bishop?s last public ministry when he presided over the re-dedication of the Cathedral on Sept 26th, 1996 ? just over a week before he died.
Life & Work