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Longtime local Catholic school counselor, educator killed in North Country crash

Longtime local Catholic school counselor, educator killed in North Country crash

Longtime local Catholic school counselor, educator killed in North Country crash
Sister Monica Murphy
Photographer: Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

A longtime local Catholic school counselor, educator and one-time president of the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons Board of Trustees was killed Monday in a crash in the North Country, officials said.

Sister Monica Murphy, 77, of Albany, died of injuries she suffered just after 5 p.m. when her car hit another head-on on state Route 74 in the town of Schroon, Essex County, state police said.

Murphy was headed east when for an unknown reason, her vehicle veered into the opposite lane, striking a pickup truck operated by John Homer III, 49, and Dalton J. Homer, 22, both of North Creek. They were taken for treatment of neck and back pain and released, state police said.

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons remembered Murphy and her work in a Facebook post Tuesday. She worked at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons from 1989 to 2000, including as director of guidance. Murphy later served as president of the school's Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012. 

"We are saddened to share the news of the passing of Sr. Monica Murphy who prayerfully served our community as School Counselor, Educator, Co-Director of Musicals, Mentor and later as President of the ND-BG Board of Trustees," the post read. 

The post also asked for memories of Murphy and prayers.

"We also pray in thanksgiving for the gift of her service and faith which she so generously shared," the school wrote.

Murphy had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 58 years. According to the diocese's communications office, she began her career with schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in 1970 at St. Mary's in Hoosick Falls, followed by a decade at Catholic Central High School in Troy beginning in 1973. Prior to joining the staff at ND-BG in 1989, she spent six years at Amsterdam's Bishop Scully High school, which closed permanently at the end of the 1989-90 academic year due to declining enrollment. She remained at Catholic Central after returning there in 2001. 

According to Catholic Central, Monday's accident happened as she was returning to the Pyramid Life Center in Paradox, Essex County. Information posted to the center's Facebook page stated that Murphy was one of its co-founders and had served as its director since it was established in 1987. 

"She was a pillar of our institution and made a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of young people," Catholic Central wrote on its Facebook page. "Throughout her time at Catholic Central, she was a teacher, guidance counselor, spiritual counselor, mentor, friend and the Crusaders #1 fan." 

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger also remembered Murphy in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

"She was a beloved figure in our Diocese, bringing her passion for her Catholic faith - and for all people - to everything she did, whether in our Catholic schools, where she served for more than four decades, or at Pyramid Life Center, where she was the driving force that has kept that camp thriving since its beginnings," Scharfenberger wrote.

"Our prayers are with the communities of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, Catholic Central High School and Pyramid Life Center during this most difficult time. Our prayers also for sister's family, including Sister Maureen Murphy, CSJ," Scharfenberger's statement continued.

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