March 27, 2017
With sadness, we announce that our brother, Paulist Fr. Thomas Murphy, passed into eternal life on March 27, 2017, at his residence in Toronto, Canada. He was 89.
Fr. Murphy was born August 14, 1927, in Orillia, ON, to Norman and Adeline Claire Murphy. He grew up in St. Peter’s Church in Toronto (then served by Paulist Fathers) and attended the parish school.
After graduating from St. Michael’s College School, Fr. Murphy did clerical work and was a bookkeeper at a shoe company while discerning his vocation to the priesthood.
He then spent three years studying at St. Peter’s College in Baltimore before entering the Paulist novitiate.
He made his first promises to the Paulist community on Sept. 8, 1956, and his final promises on Sept. 8, 1959. He earned his degree at our seminary, St. Paul’s College.
He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1962, at our mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City.
Fr. Murphy spent his pastoral year at the Paulist Center in Boston before serving from 1963 to 1965 as an assistant pastor at St. Andrew’s Church in Clemson, SC.
From 1965 to 1970, he conducted parish missions as part of our mission band based at St. Peter’s Church in Toronto.
In 1970, he returned to St. Andrew’s Church in Clemson, SC, serving as pastor and superior there through 1975.
From 1975 to 1981, he was associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Layton, UT. That was followed by eleven years of service as associate pastor of St. Leo the Great Church in Houston, TX.
In 1992, he entered senior ministry at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago.
In 1993, he returned to St. Peter’s Church in Toronto, and lived in that city for the rest of his life.
At the time of his golden jubilee in 2012, Fr. Murphy reflected on his long priesthood. “I have enjoyed the variety in my assignments, and I liked the people I met along the way,” he said. “I like the Paulist life very much – the brotherhood, the individual priests. They are very good people.”
In addition to his brother Paulist Fathers, Fr. Murphy is survived by his sister, Gloria Lawless; his brother, Frank (wife Elaine); a niece and nephews.
A wake for Fr. Murphy will be held Friday, March 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., at Newediuk Funeral Home, 2058 Kipling Ave,, Toronto.
A wake also will be held Saturday, April 1, at St. Peter’s Church in Toronto, from 9 to 11:45 a.m. Fr. Murphy’s funeral Mass will follow at Noon.
Paulist Fr. Eric Andrews, Paulist Fathers president, will be the main celebrant of the Mass. Paulist Fr. Jim Haley will serve as homilist.
Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 8361 Youge St., Thornhill, ON.