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June 5, 2020 — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, has announced the death of the Most Reverend George V. Murry, SJ, the fifth bishop of the diocese, this morning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Bishop Murry, who served as chairman of the Committee Against Racism for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has long been recognized as a leading voice in the Catholic church on the topic of race.

In addition to listening and learning, the church must break her silence and “seek the forgiveness of those that she has victimized by her past injustices,” he said during a lecture at the Jesuits’ St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2018.

The church can foster reconciliation by including people of color in leadership roles and by confronting racism wherever it occurs, and must “speak and live in truth, leaving behind the comfortable attitudes of superiority and fear,” he said. “To get to that truth, we must break the silent complicity with the social evil of racism.”

Father James Shea, SJ, with Bishop George Murry at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

Bishop Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, on Dec. 28, 1948. After graduating from Catholic elementary and high schools, he attended St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia; St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut; and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1972.

That same year, he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 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 of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, in 1979 and a doctorate in American Cultural History from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1994.


Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, gave a keynote speech at the Ignatian Family Teach-In in 2018.

Bishop Murry served on the faculty and was dean of student activities at Gonzaga College High School in 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, and he became bishop of the diocese on June 30, 1999. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the fifth bishop of the diocese of Youngstown in 2007.

Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, is seen in St. Louis in this 2017 file photo. Bishop Murry, who submitted his resignation to Pope Francis for health reasons May 26, 2020, died June 5 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review)

Bishop Murry has served on numerous boards, including Saint Joseph University, the University of Detroit Mercy, Fairfield University and Walsh University. In addition to his service as chairman of the Committee Against Racism for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as secretary for the Conference and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Catholic Relief Services. [Source: Diocese of Youngstown]

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