OBITUARY

Rev. Seamus Murtagh

November 16, 1935February 16, 2021

It is with great sadness that the family of Father Seamus Murtagh announces his passing on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, in West Palm Beach, at the age of 85.

Seamus will be lovingly remembered by his four siblings, Noel Murtagh, Kathleen (Pat Joe) Hunt, Annie Schultz & Agnes (Ron) Healy; thirty-five nieces and nephews; and numerous extended family members, friends and former parishioners. He was the eighth of thirteen children and was predeceased by his beloved parents, Peter & Kate Murtagh (nee Croghan); and siblings, Michael, Paddy, Eddie, Maura, Bob, Joe, Sean and Gerry.

He was born in Corlis, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, attended seminary at Mungret College and St. Patrick’s College, Carlow. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami in 1966. His first parish was St. Clement’s in Ft. Lauderdale. He was sent to Rome by Archbishop Carroll for further studies and received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. On his return to the archdiocese, he served as a faculty member at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach from 1971 – 1983 and as Academic Dean from 1980 – 1983. He became pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church and then St. Ann Catholic Church, both in West Palm Beach. He served the Diocese of Palm Beach in many roles, including Chancellor, Vicar General, Diocesan Administrator and Apostolic Administrator. He was co-founder in the creation of St. Ann Place Homeless Outreach Center, where he served those in need with dignity and respect. Father Seamus cast the vision for Holy Ground Shelter for Homeless and also served on the Board. After his retirement, Seamus continued to celebrate Mass at Holy Cross Church in Indiantown and Lourdes Noreen McKeen Residence in West Palm Beach. Seamus enjoyed playing cards with his family – he especially enjoyed winning. He was an avid walker and an accomplished Scrabble player. He enjoyed trips with friends and family and traveled to Ireland every year. He was fond of saying he led a blessed life; however, many count themselves blessed to have been a part of his life.

A wake and visitation will be held on Monday, February 22, from 3:00pm – 6:00 pm, at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 23, at 12:00 pm, also at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. The Mass will be live streamed and can be accessed at www.cathedralpb.com. Click on the link for “Live Mass”.

Burial at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach will follow the Funeral Mass.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Ann Place Homeless Outreach Center, 2107 N. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or Holy Ground Shelter for Homeless, 200 W. 20th St., Riviera Beach, FL 33404 or simply perform an act of kindness in Seamus’ name for someone less fortunate.

  • FAMILY

  • Seamus will be lovingly remembered by his four siblings,
    Noel Murtagh,
    Kathleen (Pat Joe) Hunt,
    Annie Schultz
    Agnes (Ron) Healy;
    thirty-five nieces and nephews;
    and numerous extended family members, friends and former parishioners.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, February 22, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Graveside

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Memories

Rev. Seamus Murtagh

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PJ Null

February 25, 2021

We count ourselves blessed to have been in Fr. Seamus' orbit, when he traveled to Colorado for winter trips with my WPB cousins Linda & Chuck Freebold. and their friends. Seamus was such an open and loving man! His goodness shone in his smile, and that Irish wit! While we all skied, he hiked. And hiked. And hiked! My kiddos (now grown and in their thirties) were so impacted by his caring nature (and his quest to win every Scrabble match!!) He meant the world to us, and I know our beloved Frank and Bill Megrath were part of a huge crowd in Heaven to welcome Seamus home. He will always be an inspiration - and a shining example of a life well-lived. Rest in peace, dear Seamus.

dennis flanagan

February 24, 2021

Thank you for his service,vocation and friendship. He touched our lives in many ways and always was encouraging in the toughest of times. He was focused on God's mission.

Patricia Taylor

February 23, 2021

Dear Fr. Murtagh and Family:
I want you to know that we thought of you as our shepherd along with Jesus Christ at Holy Name of Jesus Church when we first arrived at the parish in 1992. You had a gentle lilt to your voice. You spoke gently to the children in the parish. You presided over my daughter's First Communion. You engaged the children during the homily. The children were enthralled to hear you speak since they regularly saw you at the school Masses. Our children are now grown with children of their own. You gave them many lessons that they will use throughout their lives. Thank you for your service to our church family and to the Diocese of Palm Beach. With Much Love, The Taylor Family

Diana Mazzella

February 23, 2021

I was a child when I heard Fr. Seamus give a Christmas homily that has stuck with me throughout my life. He said that humans were essentially good, otherwise why would Jesus have come to Earth? The prevailing message I have heard often from Christianity and outside it is that humans are essentially garbage, and we have to make heroic efforts to be less terrible. Seamus had strong beliefs in the value of people and helped them to bring their gifts to the world.

I was an altar server in the first class of girls serving at Holy Name. We were so excited and very proud. We had been given a mandate to serve and with the support of our grownups didn't worry about whether we were worthy. It was much later when I was in college that I felt the pushback to women altar serving at other parishes, but that never came up in my childhood at Holy Name. With Seamus, I always felt warmth and love. You belonged with him and you belonged to the parish and that was the final word. And if you weren't a member, he would invite you sincerely. I think he thought you belonged regardless.

I came back on a visit from living in another state and had lunch with him while he was at St. Ann's. He told me: "It does my heart good to see you." I have always treasured that. He had been away from HNJ a few years. I had been away. But it didn't matter. He remembered. I still existed to him even when I wasn't there.

Fr. Paul Wierichs, C. P.

February 23, 2021

A wonderful man and priest. Fill with Zeal when he was active and retired. He saw his priesthood as a vocation not a job. I am happy I had known him. He added to my priesthood.

Linda and Chuck Freebold

February 23, 2021

Every Friday when he was pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Father Seamus went to visit the sick and home bound . Before he left he would say, “ I am going out to do what I was ordained to do.”
That is essence of his priesthood; a loving shepherd of his flock. We now have a new guardian angel. RIP Father Seamus.

Bill and Chris Kelly

February 22, 2021

Fr. Seamus,
We were so blessed to have you as our friend and Pastor at Holy Name. You baptized our children, encouraged and guided us in our participation in so many ministries, and helped us in our Sacramental lives as a couple. Looking back on so many happy times, we recall your green cowboy hat during festival, your recipe for Irish coffee, your perpetual smile, your showing up at our door unannounced, a hundred other activities, but most of all, your unconditional love. Our tears in the loss of you here with us are mixed with smiles of joy for your new life in heaven.

External rest grant unto him oh Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Eileen Baisley

February 22, 2021

What a wonderful shepherd. You meant so much to Richard and I during our many Marriage Encounter weekends together. You were a regular guy who always made time when you were needed. You were great at putting your arm around someone and asking them to do something for the church. We could never say no to you. We missed you at Holy Name when you left and we will miss you now. Pray for us left behind as we will pray for you. God Bless!

Shauna Mitchell

February 22, 2021

I was in the second grade when Fr. Seamus came to St. Ann, so he was there with me for my first reconciliation, first communion and confirmation. I was fortunate to have known him during my formative years, and he was always a steady, comforting presence during a tumultuous time in my life. Even though I don't live in the area anymore, I have always reflected warmly on my memories of Fr. Seamus, including a surprise run-in with him in front of Publix the morning before I took a big test in high school. I laughed because he was wearing a tropical button-down instead of his usual collar, and he laughed with me before wishing me luck on my test. I'm sad that we've lost such a pillar of our community, but I'm so grateful to have the trove of memories, easy jokes and good advice that he offered so readily. We are all very lucky to have known him.

Fr. Gerard Casey

February 22, 2021

A LETTER TO SEAMUS
Dear Seamus,
“Well done, good and faithful servant”. A time of great sadness for your family as well as for the many friends you will have made in 50 years of ministry. A time also of completion, of that resurrection, that hope, that you preached on all your life as priest. Now that promise is to be fulfilled in you.
I was glad to see your parents mentioned in your obituary. It was from them that you received the faith to which you committed your life. And your family, your siblings, they, too, affirmed you in the dream that led to your studies in Mungret, and Carlow, before you set off for distant shores like Columbanus of old.
I still have our ordination class- piece on my wall. It bears our pictures, all 28 of us, with our names and our destinies written beneath. Exotic names of Dioceses we never heard of, but they were surely to the ends of our world. One by one we would travel to those lands, those faraway places in North America, in South America, in Australia and New Zealand, in England and Scotland in Wales. Even those of us who were called to nurture the home fires found blessings in our mission to hand on the faith of our ancestors. Beneath our pictures is our Commission: “Go teach all nations” (Matt:28.19)
You have crossed the finishing line, Seamus. We will call it the day of your death, but our early Christian ancestors referred to it as the “dies natalis ….”, the day of our birth. It was seen as our birth into the new life won for us by Jesus Christ.
Since we were ordained, I would have met you but a handful of times, at reunions. You were ever the same Seamus. I have loving memories of our student days, of those exciting days as the new vision of Vatican II was being poured into our hearts by P.J.Brophy. He shared “Doctrine & Life” with us, the only translations (unofficial) available. We were the first apostles of that new vision. “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, to be young was very heaven”. As we exchanged

FROM THE FAMILY