Healy, Father James Joseph, S.S.

2003, March 1

Date of Birth: September 11, 1921

James Joseph Healy died of kidney failure on March 1, 2003 at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged in Catonsville, Maryland. Survivors include his sister, Mrs. William Cochran of Manchester, N.H. and his brother, Timothy Healy of Winter Park, FL.

On September 11, 1921 James Joseph Healy was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. His early education was at Wilson Public School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, both in Manchester. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School.

Jim heard the invitation of Christ to “Come and see” as a college student at St. Anselm’s College in his native Manchester, NH ( 1939-1941 ). This “call” brought him to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland where he was part of the World War II accelerated program.

While attending St. Mary’s, Jim distinguished himself not only in class and as student master of ceremonies but also in all the seminary sports. Jim received his A.B. in Philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary in 1943. A unique privilege for Jim was that just weeks before his priestly ordination he served as one of the deacons at the rededication of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Baltimore, Maryland after the 1945-1946 renovation.

Jim was ordained a priest on May 30, 1946 for the Diocese of Manchester. He was admitted to the Society of St. Sulpice in 1949. He was a priest for nearly 57 years and a Sulpician for nearly 54.

As a Sulpician candidate he served for two years at St. Edward’s Seminary in Kenmore, Washington. He returned to St. Mary’s on Paca Street, Baltimore, Maryland for his Solitude Year (1948-1949). Following his admission into the Society, Jim was assigned to St. Edward’s Seminary in Kenmore, Washington, an assignment he held from 1946 until 1976. While on the faculty of St. Edward’s, Jim taught and earned an M.A. in Education from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington (1952).

Jim enjoyed the respect and even the reverence of his students. They knew he understood their problems in math, and he was always at their service. The same was true in sports. He led them though intramurals, major-minor games, and even into interscholastic competition with some of the smaller high schools.

When the high school seminary closed in 1976, some of his former students insisted that he come to Blanchet High School to teach math there. This he did for another ten years or so before growing health problems made him retire to Baltimore.

In 1987, Jim moved to St. Charles Villa in Catonsville, Maryland. His last years provided the residents with the enjoyment of his good humor, puns, and willingness to be of help whenever he could be. His love of sports was contagious.

For all the years after Jim heard the call of Jesus to “Come and see,” he tried to see Jesus in all the joys and responsibilities of his life. Forgetful of self, he tried to shine the light of that vision on his fellow priests, his students and his family.

In 1999, after a slight stroke, he moved to the Infirmary at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged in Catonsville, Maryland, where he received the care and love of the Little Sisters of the Poor for the last year of his life.

On March 4, 2003, Very Rev. Ronald D. Witherup, S.S., Provincial Superior, presided at the funeral liturgy offered at Our Lady of the Angels, Catonsville, Maryland. Rev. John F. Bowen was the homilist. James Joseph Healy was buried in the Sulpician cemetery, Catonsville, MD.

Adapted from the Homily of

Rev. John F. Bowen, S.S.