Jesuit Father Lawrence B. Murphy, longtime teacher at Loyola High School and parish priest at St. Brendan’s Church, Los Angeles, died on Oct. 18, 2017, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 90, a Jesuit for 65 years, and a priest for 53 years.
Fr. Murphy was born in San Pedro, California, on Sept. 27, 1927, the third of five children of William and Georgiana McLaughlin Murphy. He graduated from Loyola High School in an accelerated wartime program and received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Loyola University, Los Angeles, in 1948. After working as a chemist for several firms the in the Los Angeles area, including Technicolor Corporation, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in 1952.
His studies as a Jesuit took him from Los Gatos to Spokane (master’s degree, chemistry, Gonzaga University, 1957) to Weston College (Massachusetts) for theological studies. He was ordained a priest in Blessed Sacrament Church, in Hollywood, California, on June 10, 1964.
Except for a two-year period of teaching chemistry at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California from 1958-50, Fr. Murphy’s ministry was located in Los Angeles. He returned to his alma mater, Loyola High School, in 1966, teaching chemistry and biology until 1991. He then became assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary Association, helping to fund the training of young Jesuits from his Los Angeles office (1992-97). He served as pastoral minister in local parishes, especially at St. Brendan’s Church, where he was in residence from 2007 until 2013. He moved to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, in 2013 for a ministry of prayer.
Fr. Murphy is survived by his sister, Dee Meyer, of Los Angeles. In addition, his survivors include 28 nieces and nephews, and 169 grandnephews and grandnieces.