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Fr. Michael J. Morris, former military chaplain, dies at age 54

Father Michael J. Morris, former military chaplain, died Oct. 23. He was 54. He was in residence at St. Bernadette Church in Springfield.

He was born June 24, 1962, in Denver, Colo., the son of George and Maria Morris. He attended the University of Alabama Birmingham for undergraduate studies and earned two Master’s Degrees during his service in the Air Force. 

He joined the Air Force in 1987 and served 12 years as an intelligence officer. He left the Air Force in 1999, to become a priest. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2005 and served at Espiritu Santo Church in Safety Harbor, Fla., for three years.

Father Morris rejoined the Air Force as a chaplain.  His first assignment was Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as the senior Catholic chaplain. He was deployed to Kyrgyzstan for six months during this assignment.

He later was assigned as an executive officer to the Chief of Chaplains at the Pentagon. A year into his assignment, in March 2012, Father Morris was diagnosed with cancer. He spent two years as the White House Military Office Deputy Chaplain after his work at the Pentagon. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014.

He retired this past June from the Air Force after more than 20 years.  

He is survived by his brother, Harry Morris, of Rockwall, Texas, as well as two nephews, two great- nephews and a great-niece. His parents and his sister, Ingrid Morris, preceded him in death.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Oct. 28 at Sacred Heart Church, 3905 Hickox Rd., Rowell, Texas.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016