Magner, Father James

1980, July 28

Date of Birth: 1899, February 21

James Magner was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in the Diocese of Hartford, on February 21, 1899. His early education, from 1905 to 1917, was in the grammar and high schools of Waterbury. Two years later, in 1919, he entered St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland; he graduated in 1921. He then went to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, for his Philosophy. He achieved a B.A. in 1922 and an M.A. in 1923. In that year he went for his Theology to the Sulpician Seminary (Theological College) at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he earned an S.T.B. in 1926. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Hartford on May 26, 1927. Father Magner then went to St. Joseph’s College in Mountain View, California, for a year before he made his Solitude in Catonsville in 1928-1929.

After Solitude, Father Magner went to the Angelicum in Rome. He received his S.T.L. in 1930, and his S.T.D. in 1931. From 1931 to 1935, he taught Dogma at St. Patrick’s Seminary in San Francisco, California.

He went to St. Edward’s Seminary in Seattle, Washington, from 1935 to 1941, when he returned to St. Patrick’s. He was Vice-Rector at St. Patrick’s from 1946 to 1950, and Spiritual Director there from 1950 to 1955. He continued teaching at St. Patrick’s until 1963. In that year he left the seminary to become chaplain at Corpus Christi Monastery, a convent for Dominican nuns, near St. Patrick’s, in Menlo Park, California. He continued in that post for ten years.

When he gave up the chaplaincy, he was allowed to remain in residence in the monastery. In his last years he suffered much from emphysema and arthritis. Taken to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, he had his right leg amputated just days before his death. He died in the hospital on July 28, 1980.

Adapted from Father Magner’s “Personal Data” sheet, from the Voice, and from other data supplied by Father John Bowen.