Most Rev. Gerald C. Murray, CSsR –
First Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, 1934-1944
Gerald Murray was born in Montreal on 26 December 1885 and baptized in St. Patrick’s Church the following day. He first attended St. Anne’s School, Montreal, then the Redemptorist College at Ste. Anne de Beaupé. After high school, Murray returned to Loyola College in Montreal where he obtained a B.A. in 1906. He received the Redemptorist habit and pronounced his vows on 8 September 1907, then continued his studies in Ottawa at the Liguorian College. On 4 September 1910, he was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish of St. Anne’s, by Archbishop Gauthier of Ottawa. In the following years, Fr. Murray served in pastoral ministry in Annapolis, Maryland, studied at the Gregorian in Rome, and taught Philosophy and Theology in Esopus, New York and Brockville, Ontario. In 1927, he was chosen Provincial Superior of his Redemptorist Congregation with headquarters in Toronto.
Early in 1930, Fr. Murray was notified that he was to be ordained bishop and named to the See of Victoria, BC. He was consecrated by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Andrea Cassulo in St. Anne’s Church, Montreal on 7 May, 1930 and installed as Bishop of Victoria on 4 June, 1930.
In December, 1933, Bishop Murray was informed that he was to be the first bishop of the newly-formed diocese of Saskatoon. On April 18, 1934, he arrived in Saskatoon from Victoria (in the middle of a raging dust storm) and was formally installed as Bishop. He celebrated his first Pontifical High Mass the following day in the newly-elevated St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Bishop Gerald Murray, CSsR served as Bishop of Saskatoon until January 27, 1944, when he was appointed Coadjutor-Archbishop to Archbishop Alfred A. Sinnott of Winnipeg. Murray served as Coadjutor-Archbishop until his death 3 June, 1951. Archbishop Sinnott retired in 1952 and died in 1954.[Some information from: D.F. Robertson, The Sword of St. Paul: A History of the Diocese of Saskatoon 1933-1983, 1982]