Fr. Murphy and Monuments Men

I loved that movie. Why? Because of Fr. John Murphy. It’s not my kind of movie but throw into a pot the producers, director, cast and crew it’s a really tasty stew.

Fr. Murphy taught me art history one and two, and renaissance and reformation. He helped bring together my college life.

When I saw Monuments Men my husband didn’t like it because there probably wasn’t enough pure war in it. I loved it for the art and the love the Monuments Men put into retrieving it for us to see today in museums around the world. And I knew many of the works even though we only saw them for a second.

A fellow student tried to cheat off my test and I said never do it again and I would tutor him, free, to pass the next test. I was smitten by art, not the boy, and will do anything to get into the Uffizi or the Louvre. St. Petersburg awaits my visit. Fr. John showed us slides in a darkened theater. I saw the works come to life as I wrote papers of my own and traipsed the roads and hills of Florence to get to San Miniato al Monte.

I’ve done that pilgrimage several times and always stopped at the church along the way to give money to the lady who tends the feral cats for their food and medicine. I may be a Franciscan in heart and soul and spirit, and hope I will be remembered for that. In practice I fail daily.

My husband, and dog, know that I am not the perfect person they wish me to be, but I do my duties and they have dinner prepared by a good cook. Dog gets great dog food, husband gets my food. He likes it!

Fr. John Murphy has placed a stamp on my life. He helped me grow into the person I am today. I can love art and place it in history. In my mind, he is a Monuments Man. I can only save mankind’s treasures of mind and art by giving them to another generation. That is what Fr. John did for me. That is what I will do for future generations. Thank you, Fathers, as you did not bring me religion, you brought me a way to carry it on. Cheers! Dee


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