Michael G. & JoAnn Murray
JoAnn and Michael G. Murray attended their first Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner 20 years ago at the invitation of the Knights of Columbus. This year, they will serve as Honorary Chairs of the 28th Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner.
Michael Murray is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended Marquette High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. JoAnn Murray is from Springfield, Missouri, and attended Mt. St. Mary’s Academy, Little Rock, Arkansas. Michael and JoAnn each had 16 years of Catholic education and both graduated from the University of Dallas.
Together the Murrays have five children and 14 grandchildren. All of whom attended Catholic schools.
"We had always been committed to being pro-life but had not yet been able to become part of any activities. That night at the Bishop's Dinner, I filled out a card that said I wanted to pray at the abortion centers. Very quickly after that, Jackie Lee, a sidewalk counselor, called and soon we were going every week."
- JoAnn Murray, in reflection of her pro-life beginnings
JoAnn began praying on Tuesdays and Michael each Thursday. This lasted for years and lead to more involvement. JoAnn was later asked to fill in "temporarily" at their parish as the pro-life coordinator... which lasted 15 years! Michael became his Knights of Columbus council's pro-life liaison. "One thing leads to another in pro-life," stated Michael.
The Murrays later became passionate about countering pro-abortion messaging exposed so regularly to our youth. This led to an affiliation here in Dallas with STOPP Planned Parenthood. Michael also spent 10 years as a volunteer to the Catholic Pro-Life Community's Speakers Bureau, presenting on a wide range of life-issues to youth in local schools and churches.
In 2005, with JoAnn's help, the Christ Child Christmas Gift Market and Luncheon was founded to create a social event that honored graduating GEMS moms with a scholarship, focused on Advent preparation, kept Christ in Christmas, and offered a gift market filled with religious items. JoAnn still avidly drives this event each fall.
"And while we did these things, it only happened because of those who were there before us, who asked us to help, and subsequently, those who we, in turn, also asked to help. We are here because we represent so many of you, who always faithfully came to help and pray... always showed up."
- The Murrays