Victoria is mourning the passing of two retired clergymen, the retired Bishop of Sale, Jeremiah Coffey and Monsignor James Murray, former priest at St Mary of the Angels in Geelong.
Bishop Coffey suffered a stroke on Friday and had been in Bairnsdale Hospital where he died early yesterday morning. Bishop Coffey, 81, served as Bishop of the Diocese of Sale from 1989 to 2008.
He was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1933 and was ordained a priest for Sale Diocese in Dublin in 1958 and came to Gippsland later that year. As a priest, he served in parishes all over Gippsland before moving to Corpus Christi Seminary in Melbourne in 1987, first as a tutor and then rector.
When appointed sixth Bishop of Sale in 1989 he undertook a modernisation of the Church in the Diocese, appointing the first ever business manager, building up the financial arm Catholic Development Fund and establishing a pre-paid funeral fund.
Monsignor James Murray was lobbying for the rights of asylum seekers just weeks before his death aged 90 last weekend. He had been parish priest at St Mary of the Angels in Geelong for 33 years.
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Geelong’s St Mary’s mourns as Monsignor James Murray dies, 90 (Geelong Advertiser)