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Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Father Charles Robert Murphy, a longtime beloved priest for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, died peacefully Monday at his residence in Oklahoma City. He was 81.
Father Murphy’s vigil will be held at 6 pm Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023 at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 3214 N. Lake Ave. in Oklahoma City. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10am Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with Archbishop Paul S. Coakley serving as principal celebrant. Interment will follow at Saint Patrick Catholic Cemetery at Council Road and NW 234.
Father Murphy was born Oct. 17, 1942, in Ada, Okla., to James Cletus and Charlie Jean (Johnston) Murphy. Father Murphy’s father died two months after he was born. He and his older sister, Patricia Jean Murphy Peake, were placed in the care of Catholic Charities and Saint Joseph’s Orphanage in Bethany where he stayed through 8th grade. His mom remarried several times and died in 1977.
While attending Benedictine High School in Guthrie, Father Murphy lived with Arthur “Buff” and Doris Kroeger and their children Karen, James, William and Richard. He graduated in 1960 and entered the U.S. Army where he served as an artillery surveyor with the 8-inch howitzer and the 175 mm towed howitzer. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and Babenhausen, Germany.
After his three-year enlistment, he started college at Benedictine Heights College in Tulsa before it closed in 1961. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond and earned a master’s degree from CSU in 1972. He taught school in Edmond and Harrah for 19 years.
In 1986, he entered Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana for pre-theology and earned a master’s degree in divinity at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Wisconsin in 1991.
He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1991, by Archbishop Charles Salatka at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. His first assignment was at the cathedral where he served as associate pastor.
He served as pastor at Saint Catherine of Siena parish in Pauls Valley and its mission, Saint Peter Catholic Church, in Lindsay; Saint Peter parish in Guymon and its missions, Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Boise City and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hooker; Saint Philip Neri parish in Midwest City; Saint Francis of Assisi parish in Oklahoma City; and Saint Mary parish in Guthrie and its mission, Saint Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Crescent.
Before becoming a priest, Father Murphy was active as a Boy Scout leader and had a positive influence on many young men. Many of them stayed in regular contact with Father Murphy and attended a reunion with their families this past spring at Father Murphy’s retirement center. They have followed in his footsteps as scouts and in achieving Eagle Scout status. Father Murphy gifted his large collection of Boy Scout memorabilia to former scouts, their children and the Harrah History Museum.
As a priest, Father Murphy was a soft-spoken kind shepherd known for not raising his voice, always being positive, and having a fine sense of humor. He showed great respect toward others and expressed his gratitude often.
Until the final years of his life, Father Murphy continued to serve the archdiocese and fellow priests. He served the diocese as a Regional Vicar and as a member of the Personnel Board. He also served as chaplain of the Archdiocesan Scouting Committee.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister who died in 1971.
He is survived by Cliff and Mel Roberts and their children; Kelly and Lee Lester and their two children; Teresa and Lonnie Dooley and their child; Randy and Cathy Roberts and their two children; his cousin Becky Kubiak and her children and grandchildren, David and Sharon Hegranes and their three children; Carla and Josh Martin and their four children.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Saint Mary Parish Education Endowment Fund in Guthrie.