Sister Josephine (Josephine Ann) Murphy, age 94, died at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg, Maryland on December 3, 2023. She was born on December 29, 1928 in Richmond, Virginia, to Josephine Ann (Ross) and John Joseph Murphy. Before entering the Community, Sister Josephine was a member of St. Patrick’s Parish in Richmond. She graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in 1945 and entered the Daughters of Charity on April 7, 1946. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secretarial Science in 1965 from St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg and her Master of Social Work in 1973 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Following initial formation, Sister Josephine was missioned as a Group Worker with children to the following missions: St. Mary’s Villa in Baltimore, Maryland (1947-1960), St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Home for Children in Farmington Hills, Michigan (1960-1966), St. Joseph Gonzaga Home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1966-1967), Col. John J. Astor Home for Children in Rhinebeck, New York (1967-1969) and to St. Joseph’s Villa in Richmond (1969-1975), becoming Administrator there for the next two years. Sister Josephine was next missioned to Emmitsburg to work as a Social Worker at Seton Center. After this, she served at Immaculate Conception Parish in Baltimore (1978-1979). From 1979 to 1988, Sister Josephine served the retired Sisters as Sister Servant of Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg.
For the next seventeen years, Sister Josephine was the Administrator of St. Ann’s Infant Home in Hyattsville, Maryland. During those many years, Sister Josephine advocated for the protection of children by supporting adoption and lobbying before Congress to urge passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which became law in 1997. In 2005, she was missioned to serve as Pastoral Associate at St. Cyprian Parish in Georgetown, South Carolina until 2014, when she was missioned to Villa St. Michael for the Ministry of Prayer, a ministry she held until her death.
Sister Josephine was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Margaret Holloway and Catherine Lee and her aunt, Sister Magdalen Ross, Daughter of Charity. She is survived by devoted nieces, nephews, cousins and her Sisters in Community. She is also remembered fondly by many of the children, now adults that were under her care during her many years in childcare.
A Wake Service was held on December 8 at the Villa Chapel, and The Mass of Christian Burial took place on December 9 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Burial followed at St Joseph Cemetery on the grounds.