Magherafelt man becomes one of UK's youngest priests

A MAGHERAFELT man has become one of the youngest ever appointed Parish Priests at just 32-years-of-age.

Father Eamon Murray was recently been appointed as the Parish Priest of St Margaret of Scotland in Luton by the Northampton Diocesan Administrator, Monsignor Canon Sean Healy.

He was ordained by Bishop Kevin MacDonald in July 2001, at the Church of the Assumption in Magherafelt for the Diocese of Northampton, England.

Father Murray is the son of Brian and Moira Murray of Mullaghboy Crescent and has one brother, Noel, and four sisters, Bernie, Moira, Dolores and Marie. He is a past pupil of St.Joseph's Primary School and St.Pius X Secondary School.

So far Father Murray has had a varied ministry which began in St.Patrick's College, Thurles, Co.Tipperary in 1990, where he studied Philosophy.

From here he then spent four years working in St.Peter's Parish, Bromsgrove, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham before spending a year working at Northampton Cathedral in 1996 and then finishing his theological studies at the Westminster Seminary in Chelsea, London.

In 2000, Father Eamon graduated from the Pontifical University of Leuven in Belgium with a Bachelor's Degree in Theology.

Following his Ordination to the Priesthood almost four years ago, Father Eamon was appointed to St.Augustine's in High Wycombe where he helped look after three churches in the area as well as serve as a chaplain at the local University.

During his time in High Wycombe, Father Eamon forged close links with the many other faiths in the town and helped break down some of the tensions that emerged soon after the September 11 attacks in New York.

For the past year he has been resident in the Bishop's House in Northampton where he helped to compile the Diocesan Directory for 2005 as well as having responsibility for looking after a men's prison and a young offenders institution. He spent his time in the prison chaplaincy specifically looking after the welfare of Irish prisoners.

During the Mass of Induction in Luton, Mgr Canon Sean Heagly gave a warm welcome to Fr.Eamon's Parents and also his sister Bernie, brother-in-law Peter. The Monsignor also recalled Fr.Eamon's rich and diverse ministry in his homily and referred to his generous outreach to many people in many situations.

Father Eamon's new parish has two churches, two schools, a thriving parish club and the majority of parishioners are of Irish and Scottish origin.