Bishop Murry of Youngstown Dies After Stepping Down Due to Leukemia

Following his initial leukemia diagnosis, Bishop Murry had stepped down from his role as chair of the U.S. bishops’ new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, as well as his role as chair of the conference’s Committee on Catholic Education.

Bishop George Murry.
Bishop George Murry. (photo: Diocese of Youngstown.)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Just days after submitting his resignation as bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, due to a recurrence of leukemia, Jesuit Bishop George Murry, has died, the diocese announced Friday.

Bishop Murry died on the morning of June 5 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, New York. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

On May 26, the diocese announced that Bishop Murry had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis. At age 71, he was four years younger than standard retirement age for bishops.

Bishop Murry was initially diagnosed with leukemia in April 2018. He underwent a month of intensive chemotherapy treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, and was released in late May of that year. His doctors said he responded well to the treatment, and the leukemia cells had been suppressed, although he would need to return to the clinic weekly for monitoring.

In July 2019, he returned to the Cleveland Clinic for a reoccurrence of the leukemia.

He was confirmed to be in remission, but the leukemia returned this past April.

The diocese had said in its May 26 announcement that the bishop was no longer able to carry out his role as head of the diocese.

Following his initial leukemia diagnosis, Bishop Murry had stepped down from his role as chair of the U.S. bishops’ new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, as well as his role as chair of the conference’s Committee on Catholic Education.

Bishop Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972, and was ordained to the priesthood seven years later. Murry holds a M.Div. degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, California, and a Ph.D. in American Cultural History from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He served in administrative roles in two Washington, D.C., high schools, as well as serving as a professor of American Studies at Georgetown University and as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. In 1998, the pope appointed him Coadjutor Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and on June 30, 1999, appointed him bishop of the diocese.

Bishop Murry had led the Youngstown diocese since 2007.

Also on Friday, the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan announced that Bishop Emeritus James Murray died peacefully that morning following a decline in health. Bishop Murray was one month away from turning 88. He had retired in April 2009.

Michelangelo, “The Last Judgment,” 1536-1541

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