First Broken Bay bishop dead at 86

Retired Broken Bay Bishop Patrick Laurence Murphy, who became the first bishop of the newly created diocese in 1986, has died after a long illness.

Bishop Murphy, 86, earlier spent 42 years serving the Archdiocese of Sydney including as Auxiliary Bishop from 1977 to 1986.

He retired in 1996, when he was succeeded by current Bishop David Walker.

Bishop Walker described his predecessor as "one of the most dedicated churchman I have ever met".

"His personal faith life was exemplary, his loyalty to the Church was outstanding, and his concern for those whom he served was admirable," he said.

"His ministry was always characterised by a deep commitment, hard work, and patient perseverance. At times, he met opposition in his ministry, but was respected by those who opposed him. He made an important contribution to the formation of seminarians, to the teaching of theology, and to the celebration of the Church's liturgy.

"Before ecumenism came of age in the Church, he was already involved in it in a significant way. He will be remembered as a loyal and dedicated churchman."

Bishop Murphy was the eldest of seven children and is survived by his sister, Kathleen Scott, and family.

Broken Bay diocese (Media Release, 19/3/07)

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