Getting to Know You Series

Father Kevin Murphy SM

Today we hear from our dearly loved college chaplain Father Kevin Murphy SM. Father Kev as he is affectionately known, took over from Father Ezio Blasoni, Sancta Maria College’s foundation chaplain in 2013.

What is your earliest memory?

KM: My earliest memory was at age four. I remember falling out of a tree, trying to pick some apples for Nana. I remember her saying, “Don’t worry, you will be ok cos God and his Mum, Mary have plans for you and she hasn’t finished with you yet!” I also remember the stiches the doctor put into the back of my head!

Confirmation Day! Father Kevin pictured with his two sisters Angela and Frances.

Did you always have a connection with God, even as a child?

KM: Thanks to my nana and mother and dad, I always had a connection with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. My relationship with Mary always bought me closer to the love of Jesus. In Year 7, I made a stone grotto with a pond in front to honour Mary, (Our Lady of Lourdes, in France, where she appeared to St Bernadette) and won a school competition at St Peter’s College for students making a prayer focus to honour Mary in the month of Mary!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

KM: I wanted to be in the Navy as I loved the sea and yachting but having glasses from an early age put paid to that! From about Year 9 or Year 10 I thought about being a priest serving God and bringing hope and love to those who didn’t know Him.

Before training as a Marist Priest I worked for five years as an accountant. I then completed my training and joined The Marist Order (Society of Mary). The Society of Mary are Missionary Priests. We try and bring Mary’s compassion and qualities to the communities we serve. Marists try in our lives to “see, think, act, judge and feel like Mary in all that we do”. That is why I have SM after my surname as it stands for Society of Mary.

My Ordination day as a Marist Priest was on 6th August 1983 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Howick. It was a very special day!

Father Kevin Murphy pictured with his sister on the occasion of his Ordination, August 1983

Which adults made the biggest positive impression on you when you were a child or young adult?

KM: My biggest role model was President John F. Kennedy of America. His famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” was inspiring for me!

Bishop Delargey, a bishop of Auckland who later became New Zealand’s first cardinal was also very inspirational to me.

My mother and grandmother were also wonderful role models of faith for me! My mother was the National President of the Catholic Youth Movement in New Zealand from 1950-1952 – so working with young people must be in my genes!

What have you been doing during this lockdown?

KM: During the lockdown I have been supporting different colleges and families I am involved with. For Sancta Maria College I have been making ‘Daily Devotional’ series for social media. I try to be a person of hope and encouragement to you all as you continue your online learning at home in your bubbles. I want to remind us that we all each have a part to play in bringing hope and love to each other. By sending a humorous joke or a light-hearted story to a friend, we are actually sharing the joy and hope of Jesus!

What makes Sancta Maria College special to you?

KM: I love so many things about Sancta Maria College:

•  Seeing the students and staff living out their lives and faith with hope and Marist joy, like Mary.

•  The many different cultures that make up our college.

•  Celebrating our regular mass on Wednesday lunchtimes.

•  Seeing many students use their talents to make each Feast Day Mass an awesome celebration of prayer, song and drama! That encourages me and inspires me in my faith too!

Feast Day Mass 2021 – Father Kevin Murphy SM, Verna-Lee Oliver, Bishop Michael Gielen and Cedric Piggin.

Father Kevin Murphy SM