Events: Father Gratian Murray Street Inaugurated
In honor of the “Man with the Golden Heart”, “Man of the Masses” and the Founder of St. Joseph’s School-La Salle- Rev. Fr. Gratian Murray, whose legacy is never forgotten in the lives of people in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, the Rev. Fr. Gratian Murray Street in Barangay Villamonte was inaugurated by the St. Joseph School -La Salle Alumni Association Inc., headed by its President, Engr. Antonio B. Genovea, Barangay Kagawad- Laudemyr Kid Leyes of Villamonte, Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia-Retired Principal, Adviser/Consultant, Quirino Sugon-Retired Teacher, Secretary- Lea V. Hernandez, Treasurer-Jean Las Piñas Galedo, Ging Amor, Rene Cuison, Dan Cornel, Jose R. Marañon of Class Batch ’71, Emi Betita- Class Batch ’86, Ben Hur Anlap, St. Joseph’s School Basketball Varsity Team and Alumni. The Holy Mass and blessing ceremony were officiated by Rev. Fr. Raymond Asoy of the Diocese of Bacolod.
Father Gratian Murray is the Founder-Director of Bacolod Boy’s Home. He was born in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on December 23, 1923. He came to the Philippines as a Missionary Brother of the Christian Schools in September 1952 and was assigned to the newly opened La Salle College in Bacolod City. He studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1969 and on February 8, 1971, he became a Filipino citizen.
Father Gratian Murray’s career, both as an educator and as a priest had always been identified with marginalized youth. He trained and had experienced as a remedial teacher and as a social worker among orphaned and abandoned boys of St. Francis Vocational School in Eddington, Pennsylvania during the early years of his active Apostolate, before he asked to go to the Philippines.
During his assignment at La Salle College, Bacolod City, where he stayed for 16 years, he founded St. Joseph’s High School in Villamonte in 1956. As a Principal, he opened a night school in 1965 to enable working students to complete their secondary education.
He served as Chairman of the Juvenile Department of the Police Advisory Committee, where he organized the Bacolod Boy’s Home Protectorate to separate juvenile offenders from adult criminals. He was also one of the Founders of the Bacolod Police Athletic League.
After his ordination to the priesthood in 1969, he was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Granada. It was here that he founded in 1964, the Bacolod Boy’s Home, a community for orphaned and abandoned boys, which he heads until his death. He held the chaplaincy of the Bacolod Police Department up to 1973.
He was assigned to another parish, Our Lady of the Rosary in Alangilan from 1975 until 1984. He opened the St. Dominic Savio Training Center in the later year.
For the numerous community services he has rendered, be became an Adopted Son of Barangay Villamonte in 1967. Adopted Son of the City of Bacolod in 1968, adopted Son of the Province of Negros Occidental in 1970. He was awarded the “ ANG BANWAHANON AWARD in 1971. The FIDES AWARD of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod in 1988. Bacolod Charter GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY AWARD for Humanitarian Services in 1988. DECS CERTIFICATE OF MERIT for OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AND EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP in 1989 and a Plaque of Appreciation as Spiritual Director of the YOUTH MARIAN CRUSADE, Negros Occidental Chapter in 1989.
With his sincere admiration, De La Salle University conferred the SAINT LA SALLE MEDAL on Father Gratian Murray as a fitting tribute to his consistent interest and concern for the welfare of the youth, particularly the orphaned and abandoned in the tradition of St. John Baptist De La Salle. It was given on the 11th day of June 1994 at the 83 years of the University in Manila, Philippines which was signed by Jose Trinidad Pardo-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Andrew Gonzales-FSC-President, De La Salle University Manila.
Attesting Father Gratian Murray’s Legacy, Board Resolution No. 2012-006 of the St. Joseph’s School -La Salle Alumni Association Inc., “ Changing the name of Sampaguita Street to Father Gratian Murray Street in Honor of the Founder of the now St. Joseph School-La Salle. Unanimously approved and Signed by President- Antonio B. Genovea and Leah V. Hernandez-Secretary.
Resolution No. 103 Series of 2012- Barangay Council of Barangay Villamonte: “
Resolution Reconfirming and Approving the change of name of Sampaguita Street to
Father Gratian Murray Street in honor of the Founder of the now St. Joseph
School-La Salle. Unanimously approved and Signed by Punong Barangay Andre Victor
O. Las Piñas and Jose Ma. Z. Belleza-Secretary.*