Monita Kerley Murphy • Class of 1957

My family moved to La Mesa in December,1948 but we became parishioners even earlier. While our house was being built, we would drive from National City every Sunday and check the progress, followed by Mass at the old church on the corner of La Mesa Blvd. and Normal.

Since there was no school yet, I attended Blessed Sacrament for 1st and 2nd grades; then became a member of the first 3rd grade when it opened in 1951. To this day, I feel I received an excellent education and made some good friends, many of whom I still maintain a relationship.

After graduation in 1957, I was accepted at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, opened by the Religious of the Sacred Heart who also taught at the Women’s College at USD. We took up residence in the old seminary buildings in El Cajon. There were day students as well as boarders who came from as far away as Japan and Peru. It was strictly college preparatory so any extra classes, i.e. typing and driver’s ed had to be taken in public summer schools.

I was so impressed with the education I’d received, I elected to go on to USD where at a mixer the night before my first day in college, I met Marty Murphy, a senior at the Men’s College across the street. We became engaged about eight months later. After his graduation, he left for Officers’ Training in Pensacola FL. and came back home the day before we got married In December, 1962. We left New Year’s Day to return to Pensacola for the beginning of his flight training. After advanced training in Corpus Christi, we returned to Jacksonville, FL for the next three years where he had two deployments

After his military obligation was completed in 1967, we returned home, bought our first house in Pacific Beach and added a son to the family. We became members of St. Brigid’s parish and enrolled our daughters in the school for two years before it was closed.

In 1977, we moved to Alpine, became members of Queen of Angels parish and joined the choir. Shortly thereafter I unexpectedly became the organist/choir director when the previous organist abruptly quit while we were in the midst of practicing for Holy Week. I remained in that position for about 10 years.

In 1986, we moved back to La Mesa and returned to this parish . I became a Eucharistic Minister, thanks to Father Sproul.

In 2013, I retired after 30 years from California Bank & Trust (formerly Grossmont Bank). I was able to expand my ministry and take Communion to the homebound and volunteer at the Food Pantry. These duties have only enhanced my retirement.

We’re blessed to have all three of our children and their spouses in the San Diego area and the majority of our 11 grandchildren nearby. I feel equally blessed to be back in St. Martin of Tours parish which holds a special place in my heart and seems like home.


Daily Mass, especially during Holy Week and the month of May when each day a student was selected to make a floral crown and lead the procession to place it on the head of the Blessed Virgin’s statue during her special month.

Practicing with the children’s choir for Holy Week and Christmas under the firm direction of Sister Rose Duchesne. She also taught a combination of 4th/5th and then 5th/6thso I spent two years with her. She was no nonsense and had no trouble controlling classes of 55 and 56 respectively.

Everyone ate in the cafeteria whether they bought or brought their lunch. Immediately following, we had to make room for the second lunch people so the boys were sent off to the dirt field behind the school and the girls played volley tennis or four square on the asphalt outside the cafeteria until time to return to class.

Having a substitute lay teacher when Sister Pauline was absent for the last few weeks of our eighth grade.

Practicing for the eighth grade class talent show and our only debate which, although I don’t recall the topic, I do recall it was quite spirited.

The Halloween Carnivals and the annual school picnics at Felicita Park.

Walking home through La Mesa with my classmates after school.


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