Sister Cecilia Murphy, R.S.M., former Academic Dean of Saint Vincent Seminary, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Seminary Tuesday, October 5, at the annual Alumni Day Mass and Banquet. William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, will preside at the 3:30 p.m. liturgy in the Archabbey Basilica.
Sister Cecilia is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Pittsburgh Regional Community. She holds a B.A. in history from Carlow College, and M.A. in Religious Studies from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart and a PhD. in Historical Theology from Saint Louis University. She also studied at The Catholic University of Louvain and The Catholic University of America. In addition to teaching at the elementary, secondary and college levels, Sister Cecilia served as President of the Pittsburgh Sisters of Mercy from 1974-1982 and also worked in the formation programs of her community for several years. She has been a member of the boards of Mercy Hospital and Carlow College in Pittsburgh and Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has also served on the executive committees of these institutions.
Sister Cecilia began her work at Saint Vincent Seminary in 1982 and was Academic Dean there from 1982 to 1985. She subsequently engaged in an internship in spiritual direction and worked in the Jesuit Retreat Center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, and the Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. Sister Cecilia returned to Saint Vincent in 1987 to become Director of Field Education, an office which she held for seven years until her appointment as Academic Dean in 1994, serving in that role until June of 2004. In 1993, she received the Nova et Vetera Award from Saint Vincent Seminary in recognition of her outstanding and creative service to the Seminary. Sister Cecilia has chaired two self-studies for Saint Vincent Seminary, was a member of five Association of Theological Schools (ATS). visiting committees and has chaired two accreditation visits for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In May of 2002, she was elected to a two-year term as Vice Chairperson of the Commission on Accrediting for the ATS of the United States and Canada. In June of 2004, she was elected Chairperson of the same Commission.
Sister Cecilia has also received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award through the Diocese of Greensburg in recognition of her service to the Church and the papacy and the Carlow College Distinguished Alumna Award in 1981 for service to the Church and in 1995 for service to education.Sister Cecilia is originally from Latrobe.