Murphy, Cornelius C.Died
Jesuit Brother Cornelius (Connie) C. Murphy died at Campion Center, in Weston, Mass., on Nov. 19, 2012. He was born on Nov. 23, 1925, in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. He had two older brothers and three older sisters, all of them now deceased. He was educated in parish schools and the Mechanic Arts High School in Boston, graduating in 1943. He worked briefly as a welder in a shipyard and did boiler maintenance. When he turned 18 and was eligible to be drafted, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as a radar operator in the Pacific war zone and taking part in the invasion of Okinawa.
Br. Murphy had been carrying in his baggage a pamphlet by Fr. Dan Lord, about Jesuit brothers, picked up on impulse in the chaplain’s office where he had done his training. When he finally read it the desire to become a brother crystallized in his mind. After the fighting ended Br. Murphy’s unit was sent to Peking to repatriate Japanese prisoners of war. There, he sought out a Jesuit church where he made the acquaintance of a Belgian Jesuit, who gave him books about Ignatius and Francis Xavier to read. In 1946, his unit was returned to the States and Br. Murphy was discharged in May. In Boston he went immediately to the provincial office and applied for admission. He entered the Society at Shadowbrook on Aug. 14, 1946. After first vows he held the kinds of jobs typical of most brothers in those days: helping run the Shadowbrook farm, then becoming buyer and supervisor of the refectory for the novitiate and juniorate community. He was at Shadowbrook when fire destroyed the building in March 1956, taking the lives of three priests and a brother. One of the first to be alerted, he rushed through the upper floors of the house and the attic, rousing priests and scholastics who were still asleep.
After assignments as assistant buyer and refectorian at Weston College and as manager of the physical plant and grounds at the newly opened Shadowbrook, he spent three years working in the office of the Jesuit Seminary Guild, then the principal fund-raising office of the province. In 1974 he began his long association with Boston College High School, where for thirty years he managed the student cafeteria and its finances. His Marine Corps experience gave him a useful authority in organizing student workers and his informal mentoring and counseling skills had an impact on decades of students he came to know. His quiet manner and his devotion to work and prayer impressed everyone who knew him. In 2009 he moved to Campion Center, where he died.