YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown announced Friday that Bishop George Murry has died at the age of 71.
Bishop Murry died Friday morning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, according to a news release from the diocese.
Bishop Murry was admitted for in-patient treatment Saturday, according to the diocese. Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provides innovative care for people with all types of cancer, from the most common to the rarest.
Bishops Murry’s leukemia returned in April for the third time. He was receiving outpatient treatment at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown at that time.
Bishop Murry celebrated his first Mass in Youngstown in January 2007, on the same day he introduced himself to local religious leaders and reporters.
The then 58-year-old was Youngstown’s fifth bishop, succeeding Bishop Thomas Tobin.
During his tenure, he would tell us some of his favorite moments were visiting parochial schools in the diocese and meeting with students.
There were also times of sadness and grief. In 2010, after a parishioner was killed in the parking lot of a church on Youngstown’s south side, the bishop went there to serve Mass.
In 2015, he was appointed by then Gov. John Kasich to join a statewide task force concerning interactions between police and the communities they serve, even then calling for what many are still demanding today.
“We can always do, and benefit from, more training,” Bishop Murry said at the time.
After recovering from two bouts with leukemia at Cleveland Clinic, Bishop Murry took on the issue of clergy sex abuse. He urged his colleagues with the U.S. Conference of Bishops to forcibly remove those who worked to cover up the scandal.
Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown issued a statement following Murry’s death:
Lynette and I are saddened by the passing of Bishop George Murry. He has been a true friend and a mentor to me during my time in public service. I will be forever grateful for his guidance in my life and his steadfast leadership in the Valley. The Mahoning Valley will miss his echoing words of wisdom and his reassuring smile.”
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 June 9, 1979. He earned a master’s 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.
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 an assistant professor of American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., from 1986 to 1990 and president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. from 1989 to 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 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 June 30, 1999.
Funeral arrangements are pending.