Died 23 July 2016
Jesuit Father Leo A. Murray died July 23, 2016, at the age of 85. He was born on March 30, 1931, in Baltimore. He graduated from Loyola High School and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, in 1949.
He received both his bachelor’s and master’s from Weston College in Massachusetts and was ordained a priest on June 17, 1962. After ordination, Fr. Murray went on to receive his Licentiate of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Maryland and a Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris, France.
Fr. Murray spent nearly 20 years at his high school alma mater, Loyola High School, teaching Latin, French, religion and communications. He was president and headmaster there from 1970 to 1973 before becoming rector at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Murray returned to Baltimore in 1978 to serve St. Ignatius Church first as a parish administrator and then as superior and pastor. At the Baltimore Archdiocese, Fr. Murray became director of communications for three years. Enjoying this work, he spent the following three years in London as the director of the Center for Communications and Culture.
Fr. Murray moved back to Maryland in the early 90s, leading retreats at Manresa-on-Severn in Annapolis and as assistant director of Preaching the Just Word, a program sponsored by the Woodstock Theological Center to assist priests in effectively preaching biblical and social justice. He also spent a year as principal of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore, in addition to conducting retreats at the Colombiere Jesuit Community and serving as a consultant for the center of continued education of clergy at St. Mary’s Seminary.
While continuing his work for Preaching the Just Word, Fr. Murray became associate pastor at Old St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia in 1995, later serving as acting superior and pastor there as well. In 2003, he came to Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., as parochial vicar and served in many other pastoral ministries for more than 10 years, including a program called Shepherd’s Flock that offered Mass in a special way to children with disabilities.
In 2015, Fr. Murray moved to the Georgetown Jesuit Community to continue his pastoral work and then to the Jesuit Community at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia earlier this year.