Two beloved Jesuits with ties to Holy Trinity Church die a day apart

Rev. James M. English, SJ, was born in Philadelphia, PA, on October 11, 1935. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Prep and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, PA in 1953. He received his Bachelor’s degree and Licentiate in Philosophy from Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, NY, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Woodstock, MD. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1966.

As a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. English spent three years in Jamshedpur, India, teaching English and ethics. Following his ordination, he became headmaster at Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC, before beginning a nine-year tenure at nearby Holy Trinity Church, as parochial minister, assistant pastor and pastor. In 1982, he headed south to serve as pastor of St. Francis Church in Raleigh, NC, for five years.

After a 2-year assignment as chaplain and teacher of theology at the Catalina School in Monterey, CA, Fr. English returned to the East Coast and served Loyola College in Baltimore, MD, as assistant director of campus ministries. In the 90’s, he worked with the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Emory University Hospital in Decatur, GA, and as chaplain at St. Louis University Law School. In 2001, he came to Georgetown University to serve on the Campus Ministry staff.

Fr. English has lived at the Colombiere and Manresa Hall Jesuit Communities for more than ten years, serving in pastoral ministry and praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died at Manresa Hall outside Philadelphia on July 22, 2016 at the age of 80.

Rev. Leo A. Murray, SJ, was born in Baltimore, MD on March 30, 1931. He graduated from Loyola High School and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, PA in 1949. He received both his Bachelors and Masters of Arts from Weston College in Massachusetts and was ordained a priest on June 17, 1962. He then 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.

As a scholastic and young priest, 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, DC. Fr. Murray returned to Baltimore in 1978 to serve St. Ignatius Church first as a parish administrator and then as superior and pastor. The Baltimore Archdiocese then tapped Fr. Murray’s talents as their 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.

The early 90’s found Fr. Murray back in Maryland 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, DC 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. He died on July 23, 2016 at the age of 85.

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