Father Thomas M. Murphy, pastor of All Saints Parish in Brunswick, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 20, 2021, at the age of 68.
The son of Louis and Phyllis Murphy, Fr. Murphy was born in Houlton but grew up on Portland’s Munjoy Hill. He attended Cathedral School and then Cheverus High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Southern Maine. He then received a master’s degree in sacred theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Fr. Murphy was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Edward C. O’Leary on June 16, 1979, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. Following ordination, his first assignment was as associate pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Presque Isle and St. Joseph Parish in Mars Hill. In addition, he served as chaplain at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
In July 1985, Fr. Murphy was appointed director of the Christian Life Center in Upper Frenchville, and in December of that year, he was also named temporary administrator of St. Agatha Parish in St. Agatha. His first assignment as pastor was from July 1987 to July 1991 at St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton. He was then appointed director of RENEW, a small group faith-sharing effort intended to bring parishioners from various communities together to provide mutual support.
In January 1996, Fr. Murphy was appointed temporary administrator of St. Edmund Parish in Westbrook, and in December of that year, he was named chaplain of St. Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish. In July 1997, he was appointed pastor at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough.
In July 1999, Fr. Murphy was named chaplain at Maine Medical Center and parochial vicar of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish, both in Portland. In July 2003, he was named pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Portland. In June 2006, Fr. Murphy was appointed administrator of St. Mary Parish in Wells, and in 2008, in addition to his responsibilities at St. Mary, he became administrator of St. Martha Church in Kennebunk and All Saints Church in Ogunquit, which merged to form Holy Spirit Parish.
In 2016, he was named pastor of All Saints Parish in Brunswick, the position he held at the time of his death.
In addition to his parish duties, Fr. Murphy had also served on the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, the diocesan Liturgical Commission, and as associate director of the diocese’s Office of Vocations.
Fr. Murphy loved spending time at the beach, serving as clergy on cruise ships and traveling, heading up tours for Dube Travel to the Holy Land, Greece, Ireland and was planning a spring trip to Italy. He was an avid history buff and loved studying the American Revolution period, ancient history, and also had a great love of Irish literature, poetry and music. From a young age he had a great appreciation of church music, opera and the theatre. Fr. Murphy was loved by many people from the far north to the south, making life-long friendships in every parish he served. He loved a good time and possessed a great sense of humor.
Fr. Murphy is survived by a brother, James Murphy of Portland; a sister, Janice Murphy of Portland; a special friend, Karen Beatty of Portland; several cousins and extended family.
Relatives and friends were invited to attend a Reception of the Body and Liturgy of the Hours Sept. 26 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Sept. 27 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with The Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., as Principal Celebrant. Rev. Thomas Lequin was the homilist. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of Portland. To view Fr. Murphy’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit conroytullywalker.com. Those who wish may make contributions in Fr. Murphy’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital stjude.org.