Msgr. Francis J. Murphy

September 15, 1940 ~ September 7, 2019 (age 78)
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Cadillac - Msgr. Francis J. Murphy, of Cadillac passed away on Saturday, September 7, 2019. He was 78.

He was born on September 15, 1940, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Dr. Miles J. and Catherine A. (Farrell) 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 the Cathedral of St. Andrew 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 the Assistant Pastor for St. Francis de Sales Parish in Holland. Msgr. Murphy 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. He also served as Pastor for the parishes of St. Joseph in East Tawas, St. James in Whittemore, St. Pius in Hale, St Francis of Assisi in Glennie, 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; making Cadillac his home in 1997.

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.

The impact of Msgr. Murphy will be deeply missed by many and be felt for years following well over 53 years of service to others. Monsignor loved and served His Lord, his parishioners, and his large Irish family with amazing dedication and humor.  He was always a very engaged priest with many other interests, such as, water-skiing, hunting, ping-pong, etc.

Monsignor is survived by his loving family; one brother, Miles J. (Judith) Murphy of Grand Rapids; two sisters, Kathleen M. Johnston (Philip) of Huntington Beach, CA, and Sister Carmelita Murphy, OP; ten nieces and nephews; grandnephews and grandnieces as well many other loving family members, friends, and parishioners.  

Monsignor was preceded in death by his parents, Catherine and Miles Murphy, brother, Patrick D. Murphy and sister-in-law, Jacqueline Murphy, and grandnephew Adam Murphy.  

A Mass of Christian Burial for Msgr. Francis J. Murphy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September, 16, 2019 at St. Ann Catholic Church. The Most Reverend Steven J. Raica will preside with Rev. Michael Janowski acting as concelebrant in addition to other priests from the Diocese. Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, and again 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, with a vigil service to be held at 7:00 pm. All services will take place at St Ann Catholic Church in Cadillac. He will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids with committal occurring on Tuesday, September 17 at 10:00 am.  

Memorial contributions in memory of Monsignor may be directed to St. Ann Catholic School in Cadillac and Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools in Traverse City. 

The family is being served by the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home

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