Governor Phil Murphy

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Joint Statement by Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy on the Passing of Monsignor Philip Lowery


PRINCETON - Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy today released the following statement on the passing of Reverend Monsignor Philip Lowery, Pastor of St. James Church in Red Bank, and Head of Chaplains for the New Jersey State Police:

"Everyone has a call to serve. Monsignor Lowery found his in serving God and the people of New Jersey.

"We knew Monsignor Lowery first as pastor at our home parish, St. James Church in Red Bank, where he spent nearly three-quarters of his four decades in the priesthood. He was one of the very first people we met when we moved to New Jersey and was a friend and mentor to his last day. He played unparalleled roles for us as he blessed our house back in 1998 before we moved in, stood beside Phil as he was sworn in to become ambassador in 2009 then as governor in 2018, and he played a significant role in our children's lives through a combination of CCD and Red Bank Catholic High School. We broke bread together. He was a constant source of support, both personally and spiritually.

"He was a giant within the community -- deeply devoted to his parishioners, providing spiritual guidance and support for all who needed it.

"For the past 23 years, he also served as a chaplain for the New Jersey State Police, offering solace to troopers and law enforcement families and presiding over dozens of graduation ceremonies and funerals. After the September 11th attacks, he volunteered to serve at Ground Zero as a member of Task Force 1 and, in 2005, traveled to New Orleans to minister to residents and first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Wherever he thought the spirits of others could use reinforcement, that’s where you would find him.

“We will always remember Monsignor Lowery for his warmth, comfort, good humor, and deep and abiding faith. May he rest in eternal peace."