Joseph Denis Murphy was born in Ballydehob, County Cork, Ireland, the son of a private boys’ school headmaster and raised a Roman Catholic. He joined the Jesuits. In his twenties, before being ordained a priest, an experience with healing prayer led him to leave the Jesuits and emigrate to the United States in 1922; he journeyed as a steerage passenger on board the S/S Cedric, sailing from Liverpool, England, to the Port of New York; on the ship’s passenger manifest, his occupation was listed as chemist, the British term for pharmacist. In New York City, he became a professional pharmacist in New York City (having a degree in chemistry by that time). Here he attended the Church of the Healing Christ (part of the Church of Divine Science), where Emmet Fox had become minister in 1931.< br/> Murphy traveled to India and spent lot of time with Indian sages, learning Hindu philosophy. He later on formed a new church in America with Hindu ideologies.< br/> In the mid-1940s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he met Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes, and was ordained into Religious Science by Holmes in 1946, thereafter teaching at Rochester, New York, and later at the Institute of Religious Science in Los Angeles. A meeting with Divine Science Association president Erwin Gregg led to him being reordained into Divine Science, and he became the minister of the Los Angeles Divine Science Church in 1949, which he built into one of the largest New Thought congregations in the country.
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