Island's church leaders, educators praise Murry

The Diocese of St. Thomas has only eight parishes compared with 115 in Youngstown's.
Monsignor Michael Kosak, vicar general of the Diocese of St. Thomas, said "dynamic is the first word that comes to mind" when describing Bishop George V. Murry, the new bishop for the Diocese of Youngstown.
"He's a discerner, who thinks about it, gets all the information and moves ahead," Monsignor Kosak said.
The Diocese of St. Thomas, which Bishop Murry has led for the last eight years, has eight parishes compared with the 115 in the Youngstown diocese, but Monsignor Kosak said Bishop Murry "is up to the task" and will be "a blessing to Youngstown."
"He's very much a hands-on leader and a real people person," Monsignor Kovak said. "We all had his cell phone number," he said of the 14 priests that Bishop Murry worked with in the Diocese of St. Thomas. Youngstown has 97 active priests.
Monsignor Kovak noted that "being an educator," Bishop Murry understands what it takes to "increase enrollment" in schools.
The monsignor also noted that the bishop was involved in the renovation of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas, and other such projects in the diocese.
His commitment
Sonia Dow, chairperson of the board of limited jurisdiction of St. Joseph High School in St. Croix, said Bishop Murry appointed her to that position when he became bishop. "He gave us authority and responsibility to get things done but didn't abandon us," Dow said.
"He's very committed to Catholic education. He strengthened the school and raised the standards for faculty and students."
Describing Bishop Murry as a leader, Dow said, "He is very analytical and takes careful thought before making a decision. But he is open to discussion before making a decision and values other opinions," Dow said.
"He made us feel valued as volunteers. And he challenged us to see things from a different perspective," Dow said.
"He's a very talented person and we're going to miss him," she said. But, she noted, Bishop Murry's strategic plan for the diocese and the schools will "serve us well."
"He's generous of heart and a spiritually committed person," Dow said, adding that "Youngstown is blessed to have him."

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