Father John C. "Jack" Murray, CSB, who served as a Basilian priest for 55 years and professor of theology at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford from 1966-2001, died Dec. 3, 2012. He was 82 years old.
Father Murray was a native of Detroit where he graduated from Catholic Central High School. He went on to graduate in 1952 from Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. After serving briefly as a high-school teacher, he entered the Basilian seminary in Toronto in 1954. He was ordained June 29, 1957, and earned his doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Angelicum in Rome in 1960.
Father Murray then returned to Assumption University as a teacher. In 1964 he moved on to teach at St. Michael’s College in Toronto, and in 1966 arrived at St. John Fisher where he would devote the next 35 years of his life.
"Teaching theology really deepened my own understanding of God and the church," Father Murray said in a 2007 Catholic Courier article denoting the 50th anniversary of his priesthood. "What I was doing as a teacher helped me a great deal in my ability to preach."
In 1981 Father Murray became involved in Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a ministry he continued for many years.
Father Murray is survived by his brothers, William and Thomas (Patricia) Murray; sister, Jean (Gerald) McGuire; nieces and nephews; a grandniece; grandnephews; and his fellow Basilians. Three uncles and a cousin, all deceased, were Basilian priests and his late sister was a Dominican nun.
Calling hours for Father Murray will be Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, from 3 to 7 p.m., immediately followed by evening prayer, at the Paul W. Harris Funeral Home, 570 Kings Highway South, Irondequoit. He will lie in state Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. until his 11 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Kateri at Christ the King Church, 445 Kings Highway South, Irondequoit. Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will serve as celebrant. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Basilian Fathers Scholarship Fund at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14618.