Main Site Navigation
(Editor’s note: Catholic education not only changes the lives of its students, it sometimes causes adults to change their lives. Three related stories in this issue show how people who were successful in previous professions changed their careers to make a difference in Catholic education. Click here and here to read the other stories)
She has met backstage with Taylor Swift, talked with Garth Brooks, had her picture taken with Carrie Underwood and spent time with so many country music singers, including Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and the members of Rascal Flatts.
She had her own radio program on one of the most popular country music stations in the United States—WFMS, an Indianapolis station with about 400,000 listeners.
People appreciated and followed her so much that they sent her cards every year on her wedding anniversary, and mailed birthday cards to her two young daughters.
Indeed, for 17 years, Vicki Murphy lived what many people would consider a dream life.
So it may seem surprising that Murphy uses the words “fabulous” and “most fulfilling” to describe the career move that she made in July—leaving the radio world of music, stars and promotional appearances to take the position of communications coordinator at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis.
“Catholic schools are something I believe in with every fabric of my life,” says Murphy, 36, a member of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis. “And marketing and public relations is something [that] I’ve been involved in for 17 years. I thought I could actually work for the Catholic schools now and do a lot for them and me.”
The change means she can spend more time with her husband, Eric, and their two daughters, Julia, 8, and Becca, 6. The new job also means she gets to promote a school and its students that she has already embraced.
“I went to the first pep rally of the year, and everything was fresh and new,” she recalls. “I’m looking at the kids—the football players running in, the cheerleaders cheering and the band playing. I was caught up in the moment—the newness of high school without the anxiety of high school. Everything was hopeful—the new school year, the new football season, a new start for me.
“Then we had the first all-school Mass. I sat behind the students and was impressed by how reverent they were. I love going to a student-run Mass. You get hopeful about the contributions they can make.”
The change also means she no longer has backstage access to such music stars as Taylor Swift, the young singing sensation who posed for a picture with Murphy’s two daughters, thus earning Murphy the status as “the coolest mom in the world” for at least one night. But sharing extra time with her children and Cardinal Ritter students is a better tradeoff.
“The more famous people you meet, the more you like your friends,” she says with a laugh. “I’d rather spend an hour with 10 Ritter students than 10 famous people. I think Cardinal Ritter High School gets overlooked a lot, and it shouldn’t be. It’s a great school academically, spiritually, athletically and culturally. It’s the most culturally diverse Catholic high school in the state. It’s the way of the world.
“I have the feeling that the world is OK if these kids will be in charge of it later. I’m trying to let people know that this school is special, and the kids are special.” †