NCEA Mourns the Passing of Bishop George V. Murry, Past NCEA Board Chair and Former Chair of the USCCB AD Hoc Committee Against Racism

The Bishop of Youngstown was dedicated to a greater understanding among God’s people.

Arlington, VA – Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Ph.D., died on June 5. He was the Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown since 2007 and was a past chair of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Board of Directors from 2015 until 2017. In 2017, Bishop Murry became the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.

"Bishop Murry will be missed. His commitment to Catholic education was unwavering and he worked tirelessly to ensure that Catholic education was accessible to as many students as possible," said Kathy Mears, NCEA Interim President/CEO. "As chairman of the board for NCEA, he led courageously and boldly, reminding us always that we were there to serve students by serving teachers, principals, pastors and superintendents. We will always be grateful for his quick wit, easy smile and kind heart."

Bishop Murry stepped down in 2017 as chair of the NCEA Board of Directors when he was appointed to the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. He said that the work of the newly formed USCCB committee was increasing exponentially since its inception, as the bishops determined the need to confront racism to be critical to the Catholic Church and to the nation. Bishop Murry often remarked that the committee’s work was vital to bring about a true transformation of racial justice.

Bishop Murry was born in Camden, NJ, in 1948. After graduating from Catholic elementary and high schools, he attended St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, PA, St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT, and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD, 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 Masters 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. He was a member of the USCCB and served as secretary of the Conference, Chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans and most recently was the former chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. He also served as a member of Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors.

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