Father Kevin Murphy said being a priest of the Diocese of Rochester has allowed him to be present in people’s lives at pivotal moments, including during first Communions, baptisms and illnesses.
"Overall, I’ve probably received more than I have given," said the pastor of St. Louis Parish in Pittsford. "You meet people at all kinds of stages in their lives and it’s a real joy to be a part of their journey of faith."
His own journey will be entering a new phase, as Father Murphy, 68, retires to deal with several health issues. He noted he hopes to assist in the future.
Father Murphy grew up in Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Greece and also attended Sacred Heart Parish and Sacred Heart Cathedral School. He said a number of priests were influential in his decision to enter St. Andrew’s Seminary after eighth grade, including Father Michael Hogan, then an assistant pastor of the cathedral.
"At Holy Name and Sacred Heart, there were a number of good priests who served that community and I found them to be inspiring," Father Murphy recalled.
After St. Andrew’s Seminary, the priest earned a master’s degree in divinity at St. Bernard’s Seminary and a master’s degree in education from Boston College. He was ordained June 1, 1968, by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
He was associate pastor at St. Mary, Canandaigua (1968-72), and in 1970 he also served as part-time chaplain at Community College of the Finger Lakes in Canandaigua. From 1972-77 he worked in campus ministry at Cornell University.
"My time at Cornell was a wonderful experience of church and community, working with young people when they are making decisions about the future and being in an interreligious and ecumenical setting," Father Murphy said.
He became copastor at St. Patrick Church in Elmira (1977-78) and administrator of the parish from 1978-79 and also served as regional coordinator of the Chemung-Schuyler region.
He returned to Monroe County to be associate pastor at St. Louis, Pittsford (1979-81), and then served as copastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish on Humboldt Street, Rochester (1981-91). He served as pastor of the Humboldt Street parish from 1991-96; of St. Joseph Church, Penfield, from 1996-2005; and St. Louis, Pittsford, since 2005.
Returning to St. Louis after a nearly three-decade absence, he found that the parish was still vibrant and community-oriented.
"All the times I had been pastor at St. John’s and St. Joseph’s and here (at St. Louis), I found a rich community in the sense of its wonderful work with its talents and gifts," Father Murphy said.
The parish is planning a party for Father Murphy in the future; call 585-586-5675 for details.