Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar

Sr M Clare Murphy

Sr Margaret Murphy IMAGE

Died 22 September 1906

Margaret Murphy was born at Gosforth on 15 August 1867. She was one of the three daughters of John and Elizabeth Murphy (née Hickey) who entered at Lochinvar in the early years of the Congregation.  

On 27 January, 1887 she entered the novitiate at Lochinvar and became Sister Mary Clare of Our Lady of Good Counsel and received the habit with Sr. M. Cecelia Taggart on June 29th that year. Her first mission was to Cessnock where she lived in the latter months of 1887.

In January 1888 she was a member of the group of sisters who made the foundation at Burwood (now known as The Junction) under the leadership of Sr. M. Imelda Flood. Sister left Burwood in June, 1888 and remained at Lochinvar to prepare for her First Profession which took place, with that of Sr. M. Cecelia, on the 28th September, 1888. Following Profession she remained at Lochinvar.

In February, 1889 we find in the community diary: "Dr. Power came out to see Sr. Mary Clare who took ill with fever and had to go to bed." Dr. Power was in frequent attendance for some weeks and her convalescence was slow as she was at Lochinvar till July under the doctor's care.  On the 6th of July, 1889 she returned to Burwood with Srs. M. Imelda, Ursula, Patrick and Cecelia.

During the next years she worked at Largs and again as superior in 189e and at Burwood, Knockfin, Merriwa, Dungog and Aberdeen. From August, 1903 Sister was in indifferent health and lived mainly at Lochinvar where she accompanied the Sisters to appointments and went with Mother M. Evangelist on visitation to some of the branch houses. In 1905 she spent a couple of months in Aberdeen but returned to the Mother House in April and came under the care of Dr. John Harris of Newcastle. By June 1906 she had been admitted to the Infirmary seriously ill with consumption.

Holy Viaticum was given to her almost daily from 8th July onwards. On 1st August she was visited by her mother and other relatives, a visit that was repeated several times. She was also visited by Dr. Dwyer and Fr. McCormack spent some time with her each evening.

Sr. M. Clare Murphy died at 2am on the 22nd September, 1906. She was buried on Sunday, 23rd after Mass from the parish church. Fr. McCormack conducted the funeral service.

Office for the Dead and Requiem Mass for Sr. M. Clare was celebrated on the 26th September, 1906 by Fr. O'Gorman, Bishop Dwyer presided.


Note: Her sisters were Catherine, Sr Margaret Mary who died in 1910 and Mary, Sr M. Gabriel who died in 1893. The Murphy family of Gosforth were highly respected in the Lochinvar/Maitland district, and generous benefactors of the sisters. Mr. John Murphy died in 1898; a diary entry reads: "Requiem Mass in the Church for the soul of Mr. Murphy, Bishop. Dwyer being present at Office assisted by six priests