A long-awaited appointment

A long-awaited appointment

One of the oldest episcopal vacancies in the US has finally been filled. The Diocese of Youngstown has a new bishop, announced by the Vatican today. Bishop George Murry, SJ, formerly bishop of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, was named by Pope Benedict to fill the vacancy created in March 2005 when Bishop Thomas Tobin was appointed to Providence. Murry is the fifth bishop of Youngstown since its founding in 1943.

Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948 and was ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus in 1979. He was appointed as an auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1995, then coadjutor bishop of St. Thomas in 1998. He became the ordinary when Bishop Elliot Thomas retired the next year. Murry is 58.

Update: I should mention that the other vacant sees at the moment (and the date they became vacant) are Lake Charles, Louisiana (March 2005); Birmingham, Alabama (May 2005); Pittsburgh (May 2006); Little Rock, Arkansas (May 2006); Great Falls/Billings, Montana (July 2006); and Shreveport, Louisiana (December 2006). Eleven other bishops are serving past their retirement age.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli