Father David Murphy; scholar, professor - Catholic Courier
Father David M. Murphy Father David M. Murphy

Father David Murphy; scholar, professor

Father David M. Murphy, an Auburn native and distinguished scholar and professor, died Dec. 21, 2013, at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Pittsford. He was 84 years old.

Father Murphy was a native of St. Mary Parish in Auburn. He graduated from St. Andrew’s Seminary in Rochester and was ordained Dec. 19, 1953, in Rome by Bishop Martin O’Connor. In 1954 he received his licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and in 1956 earned a master of arts degree from Cornell University. He went on to earn a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Ottawa in 1971 and a doctorate of sacred theology from St. Paul University in 1973.

Father Murphy was associate chaplain at Cornell from 1954-56. He taught at St. Andrew’s Seminary from 1956-65, becoming academic dean in 1964. During that time, until 1967, he also was director of campus ministry at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. In addition, in 1959 he led the campus ministry at Wells College in Aurora while also serving as administrator of St. Patrick Parish in Aurora and St. Michael in Union Springs.

From 1966-72 Father Murphy served as academic dean at St. Bernard’s Seminary, where he taught dogmatic theology beginning in 1965. From 1967-72 he served as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation, and from 1972-76 was executive director of the seminary department of the National Catholic Educational Association. In 1979 he became a founding member of the National Academy of Ecumenists.

Father Murphy also produced numerous television programs and authored many articles on faith-related matters. In addition, he taught at several universities and earned a master’s degree in communications from Boston University in the 1980s. In retirement he resided in Massachusetts and later at the SSJ motherhouse.

He is survived by his brothers Richard, of Alexandria, Va.; and Michael, of Manlius, N.Y.

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