Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

MURPHY Cornelius  né le 14 mai 1922 à Cork
dans le diocèse de Cork, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 2 juillet 1944
prêtre le 13 juin 1948
décédé le 2 mars 1982

1948-1949 Wilton, études supérieures

1949-1962 missionnaire au Ghana
Cape Coast, collège Saint-Augustin
1962-1964 missionnaire en Australie
Perth, collège Saint Brendan
1964-1967 missionnaire au Nigeria
Jos, collège Saint Murumba
1967-1982 diocèse de Brentwood, Angleterre

décédé à Orsett, Grande-Bretagne, le 2 mars 1982,
à l'âge de 60 ans

Father Cornelius D. MURPHY (1922 - 1982)

Cornelius Murphy was born in Cork city, at Glasheen road, in the parish of St. Finbarr's South, on 14 May 1922. He died in Orsett hospital, Essex, England, on 2 March 1982.

Cornelius (Con) was educated at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1936 1939) and St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1939 194l), taking an honours leaving certificate. In 1942 he entered the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. Two years later, on 2 July 1944, he was received as a member of the Society. He completed his formation in the theological seminary at Dromantine, Co Down, and was ordained a priest by Bishop Eugene O'Doherty of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 13 June 1948. He was one of a group of fourteen ordained on that day.

Con was among those students who on the completion of their secondary education stayed on at Wilton for an extra year to attend lectures at U.C.C., and who later, while in Kilcolgan, attended lectures at U.C.G.. In 1944 he graduated with a B.A. degree in arts, taking education and philosophy for his subjects. In the year after his ordination Con returned to U.C.C., obtaining his higher diploma in education in June 1949.

Later that year Con set out for the Gold Coast mission (now Ghana), a territory first entrusted to the Society in 1879 after pioneering work by Eugene Murat and Auguste Moreau. When in 1926 the mission became the responsibility of the Dutch Province (founded three years previously) priests of the Irish Province retained their long-established connection with educational development in the region. On his arrival in the Gold Coast, Con was appointed to St. Augustine's college, Cape Coast, the first Catholic boys secondary school in the country, founded in 1936. He joined a staff in which Patrick Murphy was principal and which included Frank Fallon and Michael Cunningham. There were 264 students in the secondary college and 107 students in a teacher training department attached to the college. Con remained on the staff of this prestigious institution until 1962, apart from a short period in 1960 when he was on the staff of the teacher training college, at Bogosco.

In 1962 it was decided to establish the Society in Australia. It was hoped that in time Australia would become a source of missionaries for Africa. Con was among those S.M.A.s appointed to the new foundation in Perth, Western Australia, where the Irish Province took charge of a parish and opened a boys secondary college. Con taught in the college, St. Brendan's, for a period of two years (1962-1964). Recalled to Ireland, he was next assigned to Africa, to Blessed Murumba's college, Jos, northern Nigeria, and remained there until 1967. This secondary day school, founded in 1959 by Bishop John Reddington, catered for the mainly southern Catholic population of Jos. St. Joseph's college, Vom, opened a year before catered for the northern Catholics of the diocese. Con's next appointment was to Brentwood diocese in England, where he served in the parish of Grays, Thurrock Road, Essex. In October 1981 he fell seriously ill and was given no hope of recovery. Con courageously continued his pastoral work up to a few days before his death. His parish priest wrote that 'Con was held in the highest esteem and affection by the people of Grays. They brought his body into St. Thomas' church on Sunday evening for a requiem Mass. Men from the parish insisted on carrying the coffin for quite a distance, something rarely seen here... we miss Con very much, as he was always around with his happy nature and helpful presence.'

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.