Gordon Murphy’s Life Highlighted by Ministries of Education, Administration

HNP Communications Features

BOSTON — Services were held earlier this month for the  Gordon Murphy, OFM, 83, whose life was dedicated to varied ministries, with a special fondness for educational work.

Gordon, who died Oct. 4, spent a good part of his career at St. Bonaventure University (SBU), where he ministered from 1956 to 1971 as executive vice president and dean of the business school. He was later campus minister for the Thomas More Center of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

But education was not his only gift. He also used his accounting degree from George Washington University for roles as treasurer at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y., and at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, from which he retired in 1996.

Born Jan. 26, 1924, in Binghamton, N.Y., to Patrick and Mary (Connors) Murphy, Gordon was baptized Donald Joseph at St. Paul’s Church. He attended Binghamton North High School and served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945 in the South Pacific. From 1946 to 1950, he attended SBU, Allegany, N.Y., receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Received in the Order in 1951
“Joe” Murphy was received into the Franciscan Order on Aug. 11, 1951, at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., receiving the religious name of Gordon. He professed his simple vows the following summer in Paterson before Celsus Wheeler, OFM. Since he had already studied philosophy at SBU, he was assigned immediately to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., for theological studies, from 1952-56. On Aug. 16, 1955, he professed solemn vows before Donald Hoag, OFM, at Christ the King Seminary in Olean, N.Y. On Sept. 8, 1955, he was ordained into the priesthood in Mount Saint Sepulchre Friary Church, Washington, D.C., by Cardinal Amleto G. Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate.

Gordon received a master’s degree in accounting from George Washington University in 1959. In 1956, he joined the faculty of SBU, where he was executive vice-president from 1964 to1969, and dean of the School of Business from 1969 to 1971. He then served briefly as campus minister at the Thomas More Center of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. From 1972 to 1975, he was assigned to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., to work for Friar magazine. In November 1975, he was assigned to Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, N.Y., where he was treasurer. From 1982 to 1983, he was a parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Church in Narrowsburg, N.Y. From 1983 until 1996, he was treasurer of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass., retiring on July 15, 1996, to St. Anthony Residence.

Gordon’s Wake Service was held Oct. 7 at St. Anthony Shrine, with Kevin Mullen, OFM, as presider and homilist. The Mass of Christian Burial for Gordon was celebrated in the chapel of St. Anthony Shrine Oct. 8. Dominic Monti, OFM, Provincial Vicar, was the principal celebrant, and Donan McGovern, OFM, an ordination classmate, preached the homily. Interment was on Oct. 9 at St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Mass.

Gordon is survived by his sister, Kathryn Murphy, of  Binghamton.