PROVIDENCE – Rev. Matthew Flavian Morry, O.P., 84, of St. Thomas Aquinas Priory at Providence College, a longtime philosophy professor, died May 25 at Madonna Manor, North Attleboro, MA, following an illness lasting several months.
Born Matthew Xavier Morry in North Providence on March 23, 1924, he was the son of the late Angelo and Pasqualena (Lombardi) Morry. He graduated from La Salle Academy in Providence in 1941 and then studied in the pre-ecclesiastical program at Providence College for two years.
In 1943, Father Morry entered the novitiate of the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, Kentucky, receiving the religious name Flavian. He made his simple profession of vows there on August 16, 1944. His studies continued at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, Ohio, and at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, where he earned his bachelor’s, licentiate, and doctoral in degrees in sacred theology.
He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood on June 10, 1950, by the Most Rev. Edward C. Daly, O.P., Bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, at St. Dominic Church in Washington, DC.
Father Morry was assigned to St. Rose Priory in Springfield, Kentucky, from 1952 until 1956 and again from 1958 until 1959, where he served as a parish priest and also taught philosophy and theology at nearby Sisters of Loretto Junior College and St. Catharine Junior College. From 1956 until 1957, he was assigned to St. Vincent Ferrer Priory, New York City, while teaching religion at Marymount College. He spent 1957 until 1958 at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, where he pursued further studies while teaching philosophy at Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross.
In 1959, Father Morry joined the faculty of Providence College, eventually attaining the rank of professor. He taught philosophy there for nearly 50 years, specializing in business ethics. He served as department chair from 1980 until 1992 and taught in the college’s graduate Religious Studies Program for more than three decades.
While at Providence College, he served as religious promoter of one of the local chapters of the Third Order of St. Dominic. He served for more than 25 years as director of the New England region of the Mariological Society of America and chaired the meeting of the International Mariological Society in Spain in 1987. He served for 35 years as chaplain of the Scalabrini Council of the Knights of Columbus and was a member of the Knights of Holy Sepulcher. For more than 30 years, he served as a summer assistant at St. Martha’s Parish in Sarasota, Florida, and also as a chaplain at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Father Morry was pre-deceased by three sisters and four brothers. He is survived by two step-sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 29 in Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, St. Thomas Aquinas Priory. Burial was in the Dominican Friars’ Cemetery on the Providence College campus.