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A pioneer in advancing opportunities for women in the church

Bishop Murphy recognized and valued the innumerable ways religious and lay women make meaningful contributions to the church. He continually sought out new and innovative ways to engage women in as many different aspects of church life as possible. For example, due to the priest shortage in the Diocese of Great Falls, MT, Bishop Murphy appointed a number of lay and religious women as administrators of small parishes and missions. These women played a vital role in extending the ability of the diocese to serve the needs of all the members of its flock.

The bishop stated the following in his column in a January 1979 edition of the Montana Catholic Register, “The education of young children and the care of the sick in hospitals still remain primary apostolates of many religious women. But recent years have witnessed the expansion of the presence of religious women into almost every facet of Church life, and the Church has become better because of it.”

Click here to read Bishop Murphy’s January 2, 1979 Montana Catholic Register “Reflections” column – “The Feast of Elizabeth Seton and the Role of Women in the Modern Church.”

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