Death of Bishop William Murray

Bishop Murray, photo by Mike Thorpe

Logo, Diocese of Wollongong

Media Release, 22 April, 2013

NOTE: Mass of Christian Burial for Bishop William Murray (Emeritus Bishop of Wollongong) will be held at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Wollongong, 11.00 am on Wednesday, 1 May 2013. Following the Mass, Interment will take place in the burial site adjacent to the Cathedral.

Bishop William Edward Murray, Emeritus Bishop of Wollongong, died peacefully at 5.10pm on Sunday 21 April 2013, at the Little Sisters of the Poor Nursing Home, Randwick.

Bishop Peter Ingham of Wollongong spoke of Bishop William (Bill) as a dedicated priest and bishop who served the Wollongong diocese for 22 years.

“Between 1975 and 1996 when he served was a time of great change and development for the Church. He made provisions for the vast expanding Macarthur area with the establishment of new parishes, to provide for the growing needs of the community.”

“He had a sharp sense of humour, and cared for the people of the Diocese. His final years were difficult for him having suffered a stroke which crippled his body and impaired his ability to speak”, said Bishop Ingham.

Bishop Murray was born 16 February, 1920 in Leichhardt, New South Wales. He entered St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood following high school at De La Salle College in Marrickville, and was ordained by Cardinal Normal Gilroy on 21 July, 1945 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

He was appointed Bishop of Wollongong on 5 June 1975, and ordained to the episcopate at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wollongong, by Cardinal James Freeman on 21 July, 1975.

Bishop Murray had a doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome in International Law; and a doctorate in Social Science from the University of Sydney. He was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in 1988.

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said the following:

“On behalf of the Australian Bishops I recognise the generous pastoral service of Bishop William Murray in Wollongong as a bishop for over 20 years and as a priest for 37 years. We remember him with affection and prayer”, he said.

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