In memoriam: Notre Dame geologist Rev. Michael J. Murphy, C.S.C.

by Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Michael J. Murphy, C.S.C.

Rev. Michael J. Murphy, C.S.C., professor emeritus of geology at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday (July 11) at Holy Cross House on campus. He was 87.

A native of Butte, Mont., Father Murphy attended St. Francis Grade School and Columbia Prep in Portland, Ore., before coming to Notre Dame’s Moreau Seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in Portland in 1949.

After ordination, he worked in a variety of ministries at Notre Dame while taking classes in geology and earned a bachelor of science degree from the University in 1951. He did graduate work in geology at the University of California, Berkeley while serving at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Oakland before returning to Notre Dame to earn a master’s degree in 1953.

Father Murphy taught geology and served as an administrator and residence hall rector at Notre Dame for the next 36 years. He served for 16 years as chairman of the geology department and designed and directed several programs for high school educators working in the earth sciences. In 1986, he received a special Presidential Award for distinguished service to Notre Dame.

After retiring from the University in 1989, Father Murphy served for two years as associate pastor at Santiago de Campostella Catholic Parish in El Toro, Calif. He then joined the Holy Cross community at Casa Santa Cruz in Phoenix and stayed there for four years before returning to Notre Dame in 1995. He had been a member of the community at Holy Cross House on campus since 2007.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus at 9:30 a.m. Thursday (July 15). Memorial contributions may be made to Priests of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556.