Jude Murphy, OFM
1931 – 2012
Fr. Jude Murphy, OFM, was born in Woburn, Mass., on Feb. 12, 1931. After graduating from Boston College High School in 1948, he served four years in the National Guard and attended Boston College for one year. After discerning his vocation to Franciscan life in 1953, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Order in 1954 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., and given the religious name of Dreux Francis. He professed his first vows there one year later and went on to study at St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H., where he completed his undergraduate education, receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in 1957. During his time at Rye Beach, he requested his religious name be changed to Jude Richard.
Fr. Jude went on to study theology at Holy Name College in Washington. He professed solemn vows at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., in 1958 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961 at Mount St. Sepulchre, the Franciscan Monastery, in Washington. Following his ordination, he went to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, with the rest of his class for the “fifth year” program in pastoral theology.
He was first assigned to teach philosophy at St. Bonaventure University from 1962 to 1966. He then returned to St. Francis College to teach philosophy to the formation students at St. Francis College, becoming the ethics professor that year. When the house of philosophy closed in 1967, Fr. Jude stayed in Rye Beach, where the lay brothers’ candidate program had been relocated, teaching courses in scripture and theology, as well as working on youth retreats. In the meantime, Fr. Jude continued his own studies, earning a master’s degree in education from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, which prepared him for his next assignment as faculty member and counselor at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he served from 1973 to 1981.
He then served for a year as chaplain at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., before being assigned as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in East Rutherford, N.J. Four years later, he took a sabbatical at Boston College while also assisting at St. Anthony Shrine. Fr. Jude then moved to St. Francis Friary in Brookline, where he brought his warm fraternal presence to the novitiate community while he served as chaplain to the Poor Clares and continued to assist at the shrine part-time.
Beginning in 1989, Fr. Jude was to spend almost all of the rest of his life as a parish priest, endearing himself to his flock with his unique outgoing, friendly Irish personality. He was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Anthony Parish in Butler, N.J., and, after five years there, was appointed to the pastoral staff of St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., ministering particularly to the Secular Franciscans. He also returned briefly to formation ministry, serving as assistant director of novices there from 1996 to 1999.
Fr. Jude’s next assignment took him back to New Jersey, where he served as vicar at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes. Health problems forced him to move to the status of senior associate in 2002. One year later, he returned to St. Anthony Parish in Butler, serving there until 2010, when he retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston. While there, he continued to help with Masses at the shrine across the street. When the retirement house closed in 2012, Fr. Jude moved to St. Anthony Friary in Butler.
He died Sept. 7, 2012 at St. Anthony Friary. He was 81 years old, a professed friar for 57 years and a priest for 51 years.