Murphy, John R, 1852-1898, Jesuit priest

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Murphy, John R, 1852-1898, Jesuit priest

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18 September 1852-21 August 1898


Born 18 September 1852, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered 28 September 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained 29 July 1887
Professed 15 August 1891
Died 21 August 1898, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

Twin brother of James - RIP 1908

by 1878 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1880 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1886 at Oña Spain (ARA) studying
Came to Australia 1891

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a twin brother of James Murphy - RIP 1908. He was also a brother of Canon Henry Murphy of Arran Quay and Lieutenant Colonel William Reed Murphy DSO, who had a distinguished career in the Indian Civil Service.

He went to UCD aged 14.

In the Society he went to Roehampton and studied the “Litterae Humaniores”.
He was then sent to Stonyhurst for three years Philosophy.
He completed his studies in France and was then sent to Clongowes, and he spent five years Regency there, before becoming Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. Tullabeg at that time was renowned for the brilliant successes of its pupils in the Intermediate education Board at the Royal University, as well as the preliminaries for the Royal Military Colleges of Woolwich and Sandhurst, and the higher division of the Indian Civil Service.
Then he moved to Oña in Spain where he completed a brilliant course in Theology, and was Ordained 29/07/1887.
1887-1889 After Ordination he was sent back to Tullabeg. His health suffered there with chronic phthisis (TB).
1891 He was sent to Australia for the good of his health. He was appointed Prefect of Studies at Riverview, an office he held until his death there 21/08/1898. During his time at Riverview he took a keen interest in all educational movements affecting the colony, ad figured prominently whenever his influence could be of service in furthering the interests of higher education.
During his final illness he was well cared for in the community. His needs were attended to by Timothy J Kenny the Superior and George Kelly. He made many friends in Sydney, all of whom felt deep sorrow at his death.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Murphy, twin brother of James, Irish province, was educated by the Marist Fathers, Dublin and entered the Catholic University at the age of fourteen; afterwards studying “letters” at Roehampton, London, and matriculating with distinction at the University of London.
He entered the Society at Milltown Park, Dublin, 28 September 1869, taught French and arithmetic at Clongowes, 1873-79, studied philosophy at Stonyhurst, 1879-82, and theology at Oña, Spain, 1885-89. His regency, 1882-85, was at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, teaching humanities to the senior classes. He was prefect of studies, 1884-85. He returned to this college after ordination until 1890, being superior of the juniors and prefect of studies and teaching rhetoric.
He arrived in Australia in 1890 and completed tertianship at Loyola College, Greenwich, that year. Then he was sent to St Ignatius' College, Riverview, in 1891, where he was prefect of studies until his death in 1898 from tuberculosis.
Murphy was considered a heroic worker, an outstanding administrator, gifted in learning, who shunned publicity and praise, and a man of true charity He was a very good teacher of senior Latin and history, substituting for absent teachers as required. He knew the progress of each boy in the school, and showed great interest in them.
He introduced “test” examinations for the public exam students, and also weekly examinations. He also introduced class repetitions, and class championships (emulation). This allowed the boys of a lower class to compete against boys of an upper class. Sometimes a boy would be asked to submit to questioning from members of the community on Sundays. He also continued Charles O’Connell's approach of commenting on the public examination system in New South Wales. His former students described him as a “truly great man, strict, but scrupulously fair”. He was experienced as hardworking, kind and genial, and respected for his professional approach to learning.


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