Sr. Phyllis McMurray, OSB, 1943-2013

Sister Phyllis McMurray OSB, 70, of St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, died Saturday, August 3, 2013 at the Monastery.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at the St. Mary Monastery Chapel. Burial is at Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island. Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Monastery, where a Christian wake service will held at 7:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to St. Mary Monastery, 2200 88th Ave. West, Rock Island, IL 61201. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Milan is assisting with arrangements.

Phyllis McMurray was born February 13, 1943 in Peoria, a daughter of Mitchell and Victoria Moses McMurray. She attended St. Patrick School and the Academy of Our Lady, both of Peoria. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill.

Sister Phyllis entered the Benedictine Community on September 13, 1961 and made her first profession as a Benedictine Sister on June 15, 1963. Her ministry included teaching school at St. Anthony School, Atkinson, Ill., St. John School, Bradford, Ill., St. Roch School, LaSalle, Ill., and Immaculate Conception School, Monmouth, Ill. Sister Phyllis also served as math teacher and resident advisor at St. Mary Academy, Nauvoo, Ill., director of St. Mary Academy, Nauvoo, vocation director and communications coordinator for St. Mary Monastery, Nauvoo and most recently served as Prioress at St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island from 2004 to 2012.

She is survived by her Benedictine Sisters; sisters, Judy (Pete) Schlicksup and Lynn Montei; and brother, Joe McMurray. She was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers, Thomas and Ronald.

3 thoughts on “Sr. Phyllis McMurray, OSB, 1943-2013

  1. I met Sister Phyllis a couple of years ago when I was on retreat at the Monastery. One evening after dinner she came over to ask how my retreat was going (it was going quite well) and made me feel very welcome (as did all the Sisters). I was visiting from Oregon; she brought me into her office to show me some wonderful pictures of the Monastery grounds during the summer, she also shared with me the work the Sisters were doing to restore the native prairie around the Monastery. We spent about 15 minutes together and I was very impressed that the Prioress of a busy monastery would seek me out and spend this time with me – (I now understand Benedictine Hospitality but at the time the concept was new to me.) – I felt so welcome.

    My condolences to the Sisters of St. Mary Monastery as well as Sister’s family. May Sister Phyllis rest in peace and may you all be comforted in this time of loss.


  2. Silvia and Glenn McMeins

    We lost a wonderful friend and we send our prayers, condolences and sympathies to all the Sisters of St. Mary Monastery. She will be greatly missed by everyone. Rest in peace and be pain free.


  3. I was a student at St. Mary’s . I gradruated in 1977. Sister Phyllis was one of my favorites. God Bless


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