He had ministered in Haines and Skagway, Prince of Wales Island and Sitka during his tenure here in Southeast Alaska.
He became part of every community he lived in. He was adopted by the Tlingit tribe and was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was a chaplain for the fire department and all of this was in addition to the work of being pastor of his parish, which he loved. His favorite quote was "Be good to God's people." Even as he was dying, he would assure visitors that he was fine.
He comforted his sister and brother in law and his brother OMI, Fr. Pat (our pastor) by telling them: "My bags are packed and I am ready to go! I'll see you in eternity."
Charles and I traveled to Sitka for the vigil and funeral. Charles planned and coordinated all the liturgies, morning prayer, evening prayer, the procession and the funeral itself. It all went like clockwork. I was very proud of Charles (I always am)!
Here are some photos of the events.
At the vigil
The procession was led by a Coast Guard honor guard
We processed from the Church to Centennial Hall for the funeral
Arriving at Centennial Hall
The priests removed the casket from the hearse...
...and served as pallbearers.
With Fr. Jim's death, we lost 1/10 of our priests. Please pray that we will be able to get another priest from somewhere and pray for vocations for our diocese!
For an obituary and photo of Fr. Jim please click here.