Bishop John Sherrington travelled to County Donegal for Fr Seamus Murphy’s Golden Jubilee, on Friday 8th June.
Fr Seamus served in six parishes across the Diocese of Westminster, before retiring to the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Creeslough, six years ago.
Fr Martin Doohan, parish Priest of St Michael’s noted how appropriate it was for this anniversary to fall on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and the Mass was dedicated to praying for vocations, as was reported in the Tirconaill Tribune who published a two-page spread to mark the occasion.
In his homily, Bishop John paid tribute to Fr Seamus as he reached this milestone and spoke of the significance of the Sacred Heart, as 'the abundant mercy of God for his people, flowing from the side of Christ on the Cross, in the gift of Baptism which makes every Christian a child of the Father and the gift of the Eucharist which Fr Seamus celebrates every day'.
Following the theme of vocations, Bishop John reminded the congregation that 'a priest’s life is a call to model himself on the offering and sacrifice of Christ'. He also paid tribute to the immense work of Fr Seamus in Westminster, and the legacy he left in different parishes such as the Cathedral, Sacred Heart, Ruislip, St Bede’s, Croxley Green, St Helen’s, Watford North and St Hugh’s, Letchworth where, building on the work of Fr Adrian Fortescu, he had installed an icon of the Crucifixion by Stephen Foster, a local artist.
Bishop John also read out a letter of congratulations from Cardinal Vincent marking this important milestone in Fr Seamus' ministry.
Bishop Alan McGuckian, Bishop of Raphoe, was also in attendance for the celebrations as well as many other clergy, and family and friends from London.
Having been born in Dublin, Fr Seamus discovered his vocation in London while working on building sites. He was ordained in 1968 in turbulent times; on the day of his ordination Bobby Kennedy’s funeral took place in the USA, and the murderer of Martin Luther King Jnr was arrested at Heathrow airport.
Fr Seamus’ family were involved in the Mass to celebrate his priesthood with his brother, Ken Murphy, reading while JD Murphy, another brother and sister-in-law brought forward the gifts at the offertory.