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Andy Manomey writes: Remembering Bro. Patrick Murphy SVD

Pope Francis has declared the month of October, 2019 as the extraordinary month for missions. On October 1, 2019, the Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, Cssp, launched the month for the archdiocese.

For me, one thing that comes to mind when missions is being discussed is the list of names of missionaries who have brought the Gospel and the love of God from their home country to us here in Ghana.

Today I remember one good man of God- Reverend Brother Patrick Murphy, S.V.D. For a very long time he served at the oldest Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Accra, the Sacred Heart parish, Derby Avenue, where he supported in so many ministries and activities in the parish.

Bro. Pee, as we affectionately called him, had a typewriter in his office and he will spend his afternoon typing a lot of stuff, some of which include the roster of the week for mass servers in the parish.

During the Holy Rosary months, as we are in now, Bro. Pee would lead the Rosary prayers in the parish, and I can still hear his voice now praying the rosary because he had a special way of mentioning the words of the prayer with his accent.

Bro Pee will encourage the youth of the parish to go to Catholic schools for their secondary education. Bro. Pee will find time to visit most of the youth in secondary schools, especially after his retreats in Nsawam. He will write letters to all of us in school, even when he is on vacation outside Ghana. Let me leave the content of the letters and post cards for another day.

Bro. Pee was present at all youth meetings to ensure that we had the best formation. I still remember the disagreements at mass servers meetings and how he will beckon everybody to stop and take orders from the Chairman. Every Mass server had a special photograph with Bro. Pee on their initiation day. You MUST take a personal photo with Bro. Pee.

Bro. Pee had a special notice board in his office and he had pictures of mostly the youth on it, especially pictures taken from their secondary school days who have now grown and playing key roles in the parish. I will go to his office and look at the pictures and he will tell me who they were. This was one of my inspirations to go to Pope John, take a picture and send it to Bro. Pee, which I did.

One thing I still remember about Rev. Bro. Patrick Murphy, SVD, which was very unique to him, and I am yet to see it is this. During Holy Communion time at mass, Bro. Pee will mention your name before giving you the Holy Communion. So for example he will go like “the Body of Christ Andy?”, and so on.

He does it to all parishioners who came for communion during mass. As a young mass server then, standing by him with the Communion plate, I am so amazed that at his age, he could remember the names of almost all parishioners during communion time.

Bro. Pee will carry the Blessed Sacrament throughout the principle street of Accra during Corpus Christi time and he will not get tired.

I miss him and I know Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, S.V.D. and most parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish, Derby Avenue will miss him too.

We pray that God will keep Bro. Pee’s gentle soul till we all meet in Heaven.

Source: Andy Manomey // Radio Angelus




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