Rose Joseph Murphy, CSJ

We remember he in the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer.

February 24, 1938 – July 17, 2021

 When I received word that Rose Joseph was making her way home to God, I drove to Bethany Health Care Center. As I drove, I reflected on this woman’s life, and the song that kept coming into my head was Frank Sinatra’s song, “I DID IT MY WAY”!  Rose Joseph lived her life doing it her way, while always attentive to the God she served so faithfully.

 Josephine Murphy was born to Peter and Mary Murphy.  She was the cherished sister of Peter, Mary, Joseph, John, Theresa, Edward, Thomas, Rosie and Michael.  Josephine grew up in Brookline and attended St. Mary’s School for twelve years.  Her family moved to Needham in 1956.  Rose entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1959.

 How she loved her family and her dear friend, Ginny.  She cared deeply and attentively to her mother, her brother John and her beloved sister Rosie when they needed her most.  Rose Joseph was always grateful to the staff at Bethany for the care and compassion they showered upon Rosie.

 Sister Rose Joseph had many names in her 83 years of life.  She was baptized Josephine; her family called her Judy; the name given to her at her First Profession as a Sister of St. Joseph, was Sister Rose Joseph – although those who entered the convent with her called her Molly.  She was also affectionately called Rose or Rosebud. 

And God called her “Beloved Daughter”.

 Rose Joseph began her ministry as a teacher at Sacred Heart in Roslindale and then at St. Brendan’s, Dorchester.  She was the vice principal at St. Catherine’s in Norwood.  Rose Joseph ministered at Bethany Health Care Center and, for 29 years, she ministered at St. Theresa’s School in West Roxbury in a variety of positions. 

 The first reading, chosen for Rose Joseph’s funeral today, is from Jeremiah the prophet.  God sends Jeremiah down to the potter’s house to observe the potter working at the potter’s wheel.  When the vessel wasn’t right, the potter reworked the clay until she was satisfied with the vessel. 

This story is a reminder of Rose Joseph.  She had gifts too numerous to count and she worked at her talents and perfected them.  If she didn’t know how to do something, she would search out the book that would teach her.  She shared her gifts with many; always responding to anyone who asked. 

Her beautiful photos were made into greeting cards; her dollhouses made their way into many a little girl’s home and heart as well as to numerous bazaars at Bethany and beyond; her gardening skills produced beautiful flowers and delicious tomatoes; her musical talents, playing the harmonica or the harpsichord, added much music, fun and joy, especially to the Murphy parties.

 And God said to her, “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine Rose Joseph/Judy”. Today, we rejoice that Rose Joseph is now in the hands of the God she served so well and in the company of her parent, her sibling and the sisters of St. Joseph gone before her. 

Rest in peace beloved daughter of God!

 Reflections given by Denise Kelly, CSJ
July 20,2021