Sister Margaret Murphy, OSB, longtime educator, dies; funeral planned March 10

Sister Margaret T. Murphy, OSB

ROCK ISLAND — A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Margaret T. Murphy, OSB, on Friday, March 10, in the chapel of St. Mary Monastery, 2200 88th Ave. West. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. and be livestreamed through the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery Facebook page.

Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island.

A visitation is planned for Thursday, March 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the monastery. There will be a Christian wake service at 7 p.m.

Those who would like to attend the funeral in person are asked to call (309) 283-2100.

Sister Margaret died on March 6, 2023, at St. Mary Monastery. She was 87.


The daughter of Miles and Rose (McNally) Murphy, Sister Margaret was born in Carthage on Jan. 24, 1936. She entered the Benedictine community on Sept. 1, 1954, and made her profession as a Sister of St. Benedict on Aug. 25, 1956.

Sister Margaret earned a bachelor’s degree in education at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa; a master’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Illinois; a certificate in theology at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin; and a certificate in spiritual direction at Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis.

She taught at schools around the Diocese of Peoria, including Immaculate Conception in Monmouth (1957-58 and 1963-65), Holy Family School in Peoria (1958-63 and 1982-87), St. Mary School in Moline (1965-76), South Side Catholic School in Peoria (1976-82 and 1995-98), Holy Trinity School in Bloomington (1987-92), and St. Thomas the Apostle School in Peoria Heights (1998-2010).

Sister Margaret also taught and was director of Neighborhood House in Peoria (1993-95); and was religious education coordinator at St. Mary Monastery. In addition, she served on the Rock Island County Interracial Council and taught English as a Second Language to adults; and was a board member for the Rock Island County Emergency Welfare Information and Referral Agency.

Ministry with her Benedictine community included offering spiritual direction.

Sister Margaret was preceded in death by her parents; sisters (and spouses), Sister Rosemary Murphy, OSB, Kathleen (Jack) O’Donnell, Mary Anne (Raymond) McHught, and Patricia (John) Gaughan; brothers (and spouses) Myles (Irene) Murphy, and Thomas Murphy; and a nephew, Jack O’Donnell Jr.

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Jeania Murphy; nieces and nephews; and her Benedictine Sisters.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary Monastery, 2200 88th Ave. West, Rock Island, IL 61201-7649.

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