Religious brother was Omaha native

Marianist Brother Michael “Mike” Murphy, who began his 58 years of religious life in business and administrative roles and was later drawn to social justice ministry, died Oct. 18 in Mountain View, California. He was 81.

A funeral Mass was held Oct. 30 at the Marianist Center in Cupertino, California, with a later burial at Maryhurst Cemetery in St. Louis.

A native of Omaha, Brother Mike attended St. Cecilia School and the former Cathedral High School. He also studied for one year at Omaha’s Creighton University before earning a bachelor’s degree in personnel management from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

He entered the order’s Marynook Novitiate in Galesville, Wisconsin, in 1961, professed first vows the next year, and perpetual vows in 1967.

From 1966 to 1978, Brother Mike served in administration and business management roles at Marianist high schools in Texas and Missouri. In 1979 he became business manager at the Marianist Apostolic Center in Eureka, Missouri, and from 1985 to 1988 was associate vocation director for his order’s St. Louis province.

After earning a master’s degree in counseling, Brother Mike served at-risk youth for three years at the St. John’s Residence for Boys in Rockaway Park, New York. In 1993, he began serving his order as a teacher, assistant novice master and business manager at Marianist schools and communities in India.

He returned to the United States in 2005 and founded the Help Program in Cincinnati, Ohio, to assist recently released prison inmates reintegrate into the community. In 2018 he moved to his order’s community in Cupertino.

Brother Mike was preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Margaret (Gillen) Murphy, and brothers, James and John. He is survived by siblings and spouses, Margaret and Lavern Larson, and Joseph and Elie Murphy, nieces and nephews.

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