After serving two years as administrator of St. John the Evangelist in Frederick, Father Richard J. Murphy has been named pastor of the 4,200-family faith community. Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien made the appointment, effective immediately.
Father Murphy had been assisting St. John’s previous pastor, Father Wayne Funk, during that priest’s battle with cancer. Father Funk died Feb. 16.
Having studied homiletics and pastoral training under Father Funk at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Father Murphy said he greatly admired Father Funk’s pastoral approach to ministry.
“I’m very happy for the opportunity to serve in this parish,” said Father Murphy, describing his leadership style as “collegial.”
“The people here are very warm and welcoming,” he said. “They’re dedicated to their parish.”
A major area of focus as pastor will be “to continue developing lay leadership,” Father Murphy said.
“I’d like to encourage more people into lay ministry to help them find the ongoing training to grow in their ministries,” the 60-year-old priest said.
Father Murphy plans to work with parish leaders to determine the best long-term uses for a former school building on the parish property, he said.
Born in Baltimore, Father Murphy was baptized at the Shrine of the Little Flower. He grew up in St. Matthew, Northwood and St. Pius X in Rodgers Forge. Father Murphy prepared for the priesthood at St. Charles Minor Seminary in Catonsville and St. Mary’s Seminary on Paca Street in Baltimore. He continued his seminary studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Academy Alphonsianum, where he pursued additional studies in moral theology after his ordination in 1973.
Father Murphy served as an associate pastor of St. Isaac Jogues in Carney, St. Matthew in Northwood, St. John in Hydes and St. Anthony of Padua in Baltimore. He was pastor of St. Thomas More in Baltimore, St. Timothy in Walkersville and St. Ann in Hagerstown.