(COVINGTON, La.) On Sept. 12, a President’s Assembly was held on campus where prospective “shadow” students were in attendance. But, a guest who faced many shadows in his life was soon to arrive.
SPS President Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, brought the assembly to order and explained to the student body and guests that Sept. 12 marked the 106th anniversary of the school, and presented a slideshow of St. Paul’s through the years.
With that, came the appearance of Michael McMurray, who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). McMurray had the opportunity to communicate via computerized voice to the students.
McMurray was a member of the class of 1963, who, during his time at SPS, scored over 1,000 points for the Wolves Basketball team, a feat which would later grant him a scholarship.
During his senior year at Southeastern Louisiana University, he was drafted and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
“It was a scary time being in the war,” McMurray said. “I saw many horrible things that definitely affected me.”
He lived a primarily carefree life from his return in 1970 until 2011, when he lost both of his parents within three months time. His father’s knees gave way while fetching the paper, falling to his death; While his mother, who was in his father’s care, passed away from complications from dementia.
He had some doubts about his faith, especially after his 2012 diagnosis. But, his message was extremely positive. He has no doubts. He considers his illness a part of God’s plan, and he insists that he is a better person today. He encouraged the students and faculty to develop a relationship with God now and to call on him for assistance at any time, just as he does on a daily basis.
Watch the full inspirational speech below.