Father Joseph E. Murphy, 94, died on May 9, 2023. Born and raised in the Vailsburg section of Newark, N.J., Joseph was the oldest of Mary and Joseph Murphy’s eight children. Joseph graduated from Our Lady of the Valley High School in Orange, N.J. in 1947.
He studied at Sacred Hearts Seminary in Wareham, Massachusetts and was ordained a priest with the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in Jaffrey, New Hampshire on June 18, 1961. He celebrated his First Mass at his family’s parish, Sacred Heart Church in Vailsburg, on June 25, 1961. Joseph started his ministry as a world history teacher at Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, California and went on to become parochial vicar at Holy Name of Mary Parish in San Dimas, California and Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Verne, California.
In 1973, Joseph returned to New Jersey and he was incardinated in the Diocese of Paterson where he served in different parishes over the rest of his life, including Corpus Christi Church in Chatham Township. After his retirement in 1998, he moved to Nazareth Village in Chester, but continued to provide assistance to many nearby parishes. In 2009, he was asked to serve as temporary administrator for St. Thomas More, Convent Station, and then St. James of the Marches in Totowa. Joseph loved being a parish priest and felt privileged to celebrate the sacraments with the many people he served over his more than 60 years as a priest.
Joseph was predeceased by his loving parents, Joseph and Mary Murphy; his dear sisters Dorothy Soley and Rita Feeney; his beloved sister-in-law, Marie Murphy; and his brothers-in-law, Joseph Valvano, Jack Soley, and Thomas Feeney. Surviving are his dear siblings, Sister Mary Bernadette, S.C., Kathleen Murphy, Eleanor Valvano, Joan Davie, and John Murphy, and his brother-in-law, William Davie. Uncle Joe is also survived by many nieces and nephews who will remember him celebrating the family’s baptisms, First Communions, and weddings. Joseph was a voracious reader and lived surrounded by books, magazines, and several daily newspapers. He loved his family and was well-loved and taken care of his entire life by his family, especially his wonderful sisters, Mary and Kathleen.
A visitation will be from 9 am-11 am on Monday, May 15, 2023, at Corpus Christi Church with the funeral Mass beginning at 11 am. Father Murphy will be buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. For more information, please visit bradleyfuneralhomes.com.