Nicholas Murray

When You Learn, Teach; When You Get, Give

By Fr Nicholas Murray

Fr Nicholas Murray died in his native Ireland on 21 April, Holy Thursday, ten days after his 73rd birthday. We first published this article in May-June 2004. The late Father Murray went to China after serving for 12 years as Superior General of the Missionary Society of St Columban. Though he made ‘it very clear that I am a practicing Catholic, to enhance the witness value of my presence’ he found himself in China being a missionary in a very different way from his years in the Philippines where everyone called him ‘Father’. His Chinese students knew him as ‘Mr Nick’.

I’ve been teaching English in a university in Chongging in southwest China since September 2002. I chose to work in this part of China because it is somewhat less developed than the east and the government is now making efforts to develop the west. Chongging is at the center of that effort. I teach Oral English and a course in Western Culture for AB students majoring in English. The latter course in particular affords great scope for communicating values, with topics such as the Bible and Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation, to name but a few.

Timely Advice

by Nicholas Murray

It is amazing how a potentially disruptive incident can result in a learning experience both for students and teacher alike. My enlightenment came in an Oral English class towards the end of last semester. It came through the ringing of the ubiquitous mobile phone. Because of its disruptive effect I had previously banned it from my classes. Little did I realize then that one day it would bring me a timely message.

David was a twenty four-year-old student, one of four male students in a Freshman class of thirty. Most of his fellow students were in the 20 or 21 age bracket and I often wondered how he finished up in that class at all. Having been graded on the basis of their entrance exam, this was a bright, alert and enthusiastic class, all of which qualities seemed to have bypassed David.

Blessings Of The Season

By Nicholas Murray

As I write these few lines I’ve just taken down my Christmas decorations and put aside my Christmas cards.  Both have decorated my apartment since well before Christmas and have served as useful topics of conversation and teaching aids for my students who regularly attend the office hours that are a requirement of our contract.  We are expected to make ourselves available for at least two hours a week for what is often referred to as ‘free talk.’

‘When You Learn, Teach; When You Get, Give’

By Nicholas Murray

Nicholas Murray went to Chinaafter serving for 12 years as Superior General of the Missionary Society of St Columban.

I’ve been teaching English in a university in Chongging in southwest China since September 2002. I chose to work in this part of China because it is somewhat less developed than the east and the government is now making efforts to develop the west. Chongging is at the center of that effort. I teach Oral English and a course in Western Culture for AB students majoring in English. The latter course in particular affords great scope for communicating values, with topics such as the Bible and Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation, to name but a few.