Aston, PA—Sister Elizabeth Patricia Murphy (formerly Sister Charlotte Anne), 78, died in Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia on June 30. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 59 years. Sister Elizabeth was born in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland, where she was a member of St. Mary’s Parish and a student of St. Mary’s Secondary School. She entered the congregation in 1959 and professed her first vows in 1962. Sister Elizabeth Patricia earned her BS in Education from Neumann University, Aston; an MA in Reading from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale; and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University in New Orleans. She ministered primarily in education and parish ministry.
Sister Elizabeth spent 34 years in the Diocese of Orlando, where she taught and was later principal at St. John Vianney Catholic School, served as director of development and as parish endowment director for St. John Vianney Parish, and served as moderator of religious for the Diocese of Orlando. In 2005, Sister Elizabeth led the school to earn the prestigious Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2012, Sister Elizabeth received the Bishop Dorsey Award for Distinguished Service to Catholic Education.
Additional ministry includes serving as principal at St. Paul the Apostle School in Spartanburg in the Diocese of Charleston and as principal of St. Joseph Regional School in Florence in the Diocese of Birmingham.
In her early years as a sister, she taught elementary school for many years and in many different dioceses. She served in the Diocese of Harrisburg, where she taught at St. Joseph School in York; in the Diocese of Trenton at Corpus Christi School in Willingboro and Immaculate Conception School in Trenton; in the Diocese of Boston at Blessed Sacrament School in Walpole; and in the Diocese of Wilmington at St. Paul School in Wilmington.
In 2020, Sister Elizabeth returned to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where she served as a volunteer on the Franciscan Care Team at Assisi House, the retirement residence of the sisters.
All services will be held at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston, Pennsylvania, on Friday, July 9. Viewing at 9:30 A.M. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Elizabeth Patricia is survived by her three sisters, Margaret O’Leary, Sheila Stevens, and Charlotte Buckley; her sisters-in-law, Julie Murphy and Caitirona Murphy; nieces and nephews, her St. John Vianney family, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.
To read a more personal memorial write-up on Sister Elizabeth, click here.
Read a previous Good News article on Sister Elizabeth and her ministry at St. John Vianney Catholic School, here!