our bishops

The Most Rev. James A. McFadden

First Bishop of Youngstown
1943 — 1952

The Diocese of Youngstown was created from the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943 by Pope Pius XII. Bishop James A. McFadden (former auxiliary bishop of Cleveland) was named its first bishop and St.Columba Church on the North Side of Youngstown became the Cathedral. The new diocese comprised 3,404 square miles (8,820 km2) and featured 110 churches, three hospitals run by religious orders, 54 parochial elementary schools, one parochial junior high school, and three Catholic high schools. 

When Bishop McFadden died on November 16, 1952, Emmet M. Walsh became the new bishop. Walsh had been named Coadjutor Bishop and was formerly the Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1954, St. Columba Cathedral was destroyed by a fire. Bishop Walsh undertook the task of building a new cathedral, which was dedicated in 1958. St. Patrick Church on the south side of Youngstown became the Pro-Cathedral until the new St. Columba Cathedral was ready.

In 1962, when Pope John XXIII convened the Vatican Council II, Bishop Walsh and his Auxiliary Bishop, James W. Malone, attended the council in the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter. Upon the illness of Bishop Walsh, Bishop Malone was named Apostolic Administrator; after Bishop Walsh died on March 16, 1968, Bishop Malone was named the Bishop of Youngstown on May 2, 1968. Bishop Malone was the Bishop of Youngstown for almost thirty years; Bishop William A. Hughes (later Bishop Emeritus of Covington, Kentucky) was his auxiliary for several years.

Following Bishop Hughes' appointment to Covington, Bishop Benedict Franzetta was named the Auxiliary of Youngstown. In 1996, Bishop Malone reached the age at which bishops must turn in their resignation. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was named his successor and was installed as Bishop of Youngstown on February 2, 1996. Bishop Franzetta, who retired on September 4, 1996, died on September 26, 2006. On March 31, 2005, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Tobin as Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island. On 30 January 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop George Murry, S.J. as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown.


Coat of Arms

of the Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J. PH.D.

By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese are joined with the arms of his diocese that are seen on the left side of the design. The coat of arms of the Diocese of Youngstown are composed of a green field on which is displayed a silver wavy bar (called a fess) to represent the Mahoning River that flows through the See City. Upon the wavy fess are two green arrowheads to honor the Native American peoples that first inhabited the area that is now Youngstown and a cross pommetté. The green cross pommetté is taken from the arms of the Diocese of Cleveland from which the Diocese of Youngstown was carved in 1943. This separation on the new diocese is further symbolized by the golden dove placed in the arms above the wavy fess. The word dove in Latin is "columba," and is taken from the arms of Pope Pius XII, who created the new diocese. It additionally honors the titular of the cathedral church in the See City. Below the wavy fess is a golden anvil to honor, represent and acknowledge the industrial landscape that is northeastern Ohio.

For his personal arms, seen in the right side of the shield, Bishop Murry has retained the arms that he adopted at the time of his selection to receive the fullness of Christ's most holy priesthood, as a bishop, when he became an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago, and which he retained during his tenure as Bishop of Saint Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands.


The Bishop's personal arms are composed of three sections. The upper portion is a blue field on which is seen the monogram of The Holy Name (IHS). This is a central feature of the arms of the Bishop's religious community, the Society of Jesus, and it is by this symbol that Bishop Murry acknowledges the integral part of his life that is "as a Jesuit." In the central portion of the design, on a golden field, is a red phoenix with gold fleur-de-lis on each wingtip. This is a symbol taken from the arms of the Archdiocese of Chicago where His Excellency had the honor to serve as an Auxiliary Bishop. In the base portion, on a white field is a red cross. This configuration is known as a Cross of Saint George and by its use Bishop Murry honors his baptismal patron.


For his motto Bishop Murry continues to use the phrase CHRIST MY LIGHT. By the use of this phrase, he expresses that for the Christian to find his way, one needs a light to follow or a light to find the path on which to go. In either case, that light is Christ, to show the way and to be the goal at the end of the journey.

The achievement in completed by the external ornamentation which are a gold processional cross, and the pontifical hat, called a gallero, with its six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop, by instruction of The Holy See, of March 31, 1969.


159 West Rayen Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44503  •  Rectory: (330) 744-5233 


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