By Jim Fair

The Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., the fifth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown died Friday, June 5, 2020, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, New York.

Bishop Murry submitted to Pope Francis his resignation from the office of diocesan bishop for reasons of ill health in late May.

Diagnosed with a form of acute leukemia, in April 2018, Bishop Murry underwent intensive chemotherapy at the Cleveland Clinic. In July of 2019, he reentered the Cleveland Clinic for a reoccurrence of leukemia. At that time tests confirmed that he was in remission and that doctors were not recommending a bone marrow transplant. This past April, his leukemia returned and he resumed treatment.

Upon his appointment, Bishop Murry stated: “I am honored to accept the Holy Father’s appointment to serve as Bishop of Youngstown and I look forward to meeting and working with the priests, deacons, religious and laity of the diocese.” Later during Mass in the Cathedral, he preached about remaining in God’s love by holding on to Jesus and walking with him.

Bishop Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. After graduating from Catholic elementary and high schools, he attended St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland where he received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1972. That same year he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained for the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus on June 9, 1979. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley in 1979 and a doctorate in American Cultural History from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1994.

Bishop Murry served on the faculty and was dean of student activities at Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C., from 1974-1976. He was assistant professor of American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., from 1986-1990, and president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C., from 1989-1994. He was named Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1994.

On January 24, 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed him titular Bishop of Fuerteventura and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago where he was ordained to the episcopacy on March 20, 1995. On May 5, 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed him Coadjutor Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Bishop Murry succeeded to the see on June 30, 1999.

Bishop Murry has served on numerous boards including St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, and Walsh University, Canton, Ohio. He is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and has served as Secretary of the Conference, Chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans, and presently serves as Chairman of the Committee Against Racism. He also has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services.

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