RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/55
TitleFr John Murray SJ (1897-1971)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionMurray's personal papers include: personal documents, including passports, degree certificates and material relating to Murray's travels; letters from family, friends, religious and from some of the causes with which Murray was associated; travel and appointment diaries; radio scripts and correspondence with the BBC; Murray's publications in 'The Month' and 'Studies'; lecture notes and research notes for lectures, talks and articles, particularly on Austria, Germany, Europe, Argentina, philosophy and classics; sermons and spiritual notes; personal photographs. The collection includes Murray's Military Cross, awarded during the First World War.
Admin_HistoryJohn Patrick Murray was born in London on 27 April 1897. He was educated at St Ignatius' College, Stamford Hill. He won a classics scholarship to University College, London, in 1914. After six months at university, and having turned 18, he joined the Officer Training Corps. In 1916, his unit was sent to France. He was later awarded the Military Cross. Murray was wounded in the hand in the course of active service and returned to England to convalesce at Lady Margaret Hall Hospital in Oxford. Here he met Fr Cyril Martindale SJ who encouraged his vocation.

After demobilization, Murray joined the Society of Jesus on 30 April 1919, entering the novitiate at Roehampton. Murray resumed his university studies and was awarded a first class honours degree in Latin and Greek in 1922. Murray studied philosophy at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, completing his third year at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He taught at Wimbledon College for a year before taking the course of theology at Heythrop College in Oxfordshire. He was awarded a PhD from the University of London in 1928.

Murray was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on 14 July 1929 by Archbishop Goodier at Stamford Hill. He completed his tertianship in southern Austria followed by a two year period of study at the University of Freiburg-in-Breisgau in southern Germany and the Sorbonne in Paris. On his return to England, Murray served as spiritual father at Southwell House and lectured at Heythrop College. He made his final vows in the Society of Jesus on 15 August 1936.

In 1938, Murray joined the Mount Street community as assistant editor to 'The Month', becoming editor in 1939 after the death of Fr Joseph Keating. He contributed articles to a number of publications and wrote pamphlets for the Catholic Truth Society. During the Second World War, he served on a BBC committee in place of the absent Fr Martindale, promoted the work of the Sword of the Spirit and gave retreats at Osterley. After the war, Murray gave a series of lectures in Argentina for the British Council. He joined the Farm Street Church staff in 1948 and continued to fulfil lecture obligations.

In 1952 he moved to Manresa to lecture in philosophy. During this time he translated Hugo Rahner SJ's 'St Ignatius Loyola' from the German. In 1957 he returned to Farm Street on the staff of writers. In 1960 he was appointed Superior of the community at Lauriston Street in Edinburgh. He continued his translation work and submitted articles for publication. Murray was elected to attend the General Congregation in Rome in 1965-1966. After periods on the parish staff at St Aloysius, Oxford, and at Southwell House, Murray moved to Wimbledon College. Here, he carried out work on behalf of the Apostolic Delegation.

In July 1971, Murray was on holiday at Boscombe when he suffered a stroke. He died on 25 July 1971. Murray's Requiem Mass was held at the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, on 30 July 1971, followed by interment at the Gap Road Cemetery.

A full obituary can be found in 'Letters and Notices' 77 (1972), pp. 118-130.
Related Material - 'Marriage debate in church', Fr John Murray and Fr John Christie at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, published in 'Illustrated' October 1952: see YY/M
- Note on Fr Murray's funeral arrangements by Fr John Strachan SJ, July 1971: see 42/2/3/32
- 3 black and white photographs: SJ/PH/906
- News cuttings about Fr Murray's lectures in the Argentine: 48/3/16

Items by Murray in the pamphlet collection:
- 'The Ascent of Plotinus to God' [1951]: ABLSI/P/1078
- 'Een Belangrijk Jaarfeest: Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)' [1947]: ABLSI/P/1079
- 'Why Didn't the Pope - ?' (Catholic Truth Society, [1946]): ABLSI/P/1080
Printed document
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
PublnNote - William Lawson SJ, 'Blessed Rafaela Porras (1850-1925)', 1963, with an introduction by John Murray SJ.
- Peter Lippert, 'The Jesuits: a self-portrait', 1958, translated by John Murray SJ.
DS/UK/997Murray; John Patrick (1897-1971); Jesuit Priest1897-1971

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