Assignment History– Rev. Peter B. Murphy

Summary of Case: Peter B. Murphy was ordained for the Sioux City IA diocese in 1955. Murphy moved frequently, assisting in parishes in towns which included Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Whittemore and Sioux City before going on leave of absence1960-63. He was assigned to a Denison parish in 1963-64, then was on leave thereafter until his death in 1980 in Jemez Springs, NM. During his "leave" he did fill-in assistant work in parishes. In March 2016 he was named publicly as having sexually abused and raped a 12-year-old Sioux City altar boy during 1959-60.

January 13, 1931
June 4, 1955
Died: November 8, 1980


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Sioux City bishop was Joseph Maximilian Mueller (1948-1970).

  St. Mary's Danbury IA temporary assistant



1955 1956 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Emmetsburg IA 2/2 Assumption of the BVM had a school with 195 students.
1955 1956 Emmetsburg Catholic High School Emmetsburg IA faculty  
1956 1960 Sacred Heart Fort Dodge IA 2/2 Sacred Heart had a school with 229-239 students.
1960 1960 St. Michael's Whittemore IA

temporary assistant


St. Michael's had a school with 216 students.
1960 1960 Blessed Sacrament

Sioux City

Murphy was accused publicly in March 2016 of having sexually abused a boy in 1959 and 1960.

IA temporary assistant  
1960 1963 Absent on Leave       Although the 1961-63 Directories index Murphy as Absent on Leave, other sources show he assisted temporarily at parishes during that time.
1961 1961 St. Joseph's/Kossuth County St. Joseph IA locum tenens


1961 1961 St. Mary's Danbury IA temporary assistant  
1963 1964 St. Rose of Lima Denison IA

temporary assistant

St. Rose's had a school with 246 students.
1973 1973 Sacred Heart Spencer IA temporary assistant  
8/8/73   Immaculate Conception Cherokee IA assistant  


Mueller was succeeded as Sioux City bishop by Frank Henry Greteman (1970-1983).

1980 Absent on Leave       Murphy died November 8, 1980 in Jemez Springs NM. His Necrology entry in the 1981 Directory shows his status as having been "Retired," although he was consistently listed since 1964 as "Absent on Leave."

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1956-1981).

St. Joe News, The Algona Uppder Des Moines, March 16, 1961
Ledyard to Have New Pastor at Sacred Heart, Kossuth County Advance, July 23, 1973
Living Stones: Priests in the Sioux City Diocese 1856-2004, by R. Mark Duchaine, pp 182-183
Diocese Releases Data on Sexual Abuse Issue, USCCB, January 6, 2004
Support Group for People Abused by Clergy Members, KTIV, March 30, 2016
Alleged Abuse Victim Speaks out against Former Sioux City Priest, By Tommie Clark, KTIV, June 3, 2016
Sioux City Diocese asks for information on children victimized by deceased priest, By Ian Richardson, Sioux City Journal, July 3, 2016

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Murphy's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on July 11, 2016.


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