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Sister Norah Murphy
It is with deep sadness that The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie announce the death of Sister Norah Murphy on June 7, 2019, at Health Sciences North, Sudbury, ON.
Sister Norah was born July 17, 1937, in North Bay, ON, to Marion Flannery and Jeremiah Murphy, the third of six children, three boys and three girls. Sister Norah was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Bill (Lynne). She is survived by sisters Alice Givens (Bob deceased) and Mary Henderson (Don) and brothers Monsignor Dennis Murphy and Joe (Lettie deceased) as well as many cherished and loving nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Sister Norah attended St. Mary’s elementary school and St. Joseph’s College, North Bay, graduating from Grade 13. On September 15, 1956, Norah entered The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie.
Following Novitiate, Norah taught for one year at Our Lady of Sorrows School, Sturgeon Falls, and then attended North Bay Teachers College. She then taught at St. Bernadette’s School, Sudbury, returned to North Bay and taught Religious Education, Math and Phys. Ed., at St. Joseph’s College.
In 1963-1965, Sister Norah studied at Corpus Christi College, London, England, achieving a Diploma in Religious Education. Returning to Canada, Norah was responsible for Cathechetics for the Sudbury Separate School Board. It was here that she served with a team of Cathechists offering workshops throughout the Diocese on the ‘Come to the Father Program’. From 1967-1973, Norah served as Director of Resident Students and teacher of Religious Education at St. Joseph’s College. She then served as Religious Education Consultant for the Nipissing Separate School Board. In addition to being an educator and consultant, Sister Norah continued her studies, receiving her B.A. from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. in Theology at Notre Dame University, Indiana, and a Diploma in Pastoral Theology at Heythrop College in London, England.
On her return to North Bay, Sister Norah was teaching principal at St. Francis School for 1982-1984. This was followed by her appointment as a teaching professor in the Religious Studies program at the University of Sudbury.
From 1987 – 1993, Sister Norah was Vice-Principal and Chaplain of Mount St. Joseph College, Sault Ste. Marie, ON. During this time, she organized a third world experience for students who were exposed to the struggle of those who lived without the basic necessities of life in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The trips proved to be life changing for many of these students, instilling them with a new sense of appreciation and responsibility for their sisters and brothers. This third world experience continued at the College long after Norah’s retirement in 1993.
Following a well-deserved sabbatical year in Toronto, Norah returned to North Bay, where her genuine care and respect for others kept her engaged in activities and ministry to others in myriad ways right up to her sudden illness in late May. Sister Norah wrote religious education curriculum, served four years in congregational leadership, worked on a variety of congregational committees, including Kairos (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Committee) enabling her to be a participant at the 2005 United Nations Climate Change conference in Montreal, and participated in a series of justice-oriented activities, both locally and provincially. Sister Norah brought her initiative, energies and commitment to many local organizations including Ameila Rising, The North Bay Gathering Place, the AIDS Committee, and as a driver for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Meals on Wheels program as well as responding to the specific needs of those with ‘sight’ and ‘physical’ challenges.
Norah loved to travel and was grateful for the opportunity, when studying in England, to visit the Holy Land, Ireland, Moscow and Norway. Norah loved and lived life to the full; her gracious hospitality and delectable culinary skills were celebrated and enjoyed by family, Community and friends.
Norah celebrated 60 years of Religious Commitment and Service in 2016, she was in her sixty third year of religious life.
The body of Sister Norah will be received at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join the Congregation for an evening Prayer Service & Visitation at 7:00 p.m., in the Holy Family Chapel. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the Sacred Heart Chapel, Friday, June 14, 2019 at 11: 00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations for the ministries of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie are greatly appreciated.
May Sister Norah rest in peace.