View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

James Marvin, Former (?) Priest, Passes

I was glancing at the obituaries yesterday (isn't doing that required of everyone over 50?), and I spotted the name James Marvin.

I used to know a Father James Marvin, so I was curious.

Sure enough, ordained in 1948, served in a number of Rochester parishes, including a stint as pastor of St. Ambrose from 1971-95. That's where I encountered him. After Corpus Christi went off the deep end, I tried out several parishes, including St. Ambrose. We attended there for about a year, but it wasn't a good fit.

Anyway, I quickly discovered why there was no "Father" attached to his name.

"Survived by his loving wife ..." (who, interestingly, had a different last name) "... children ..." three of them listed, all with different last names than their mother or my former pastor. Children of a previous marriage by her?

I vaguely remember him disappearing when he retired in 1995 - I was at the Catholic Courier in those days - then being spotted in the western Finger lakes region (for some reason I recall something about running a real estate agency, but I might be wrong). At the time, it struck me as odd that as a retired priest he did not seem to be assisting anywhere.

I don't remember ever hearing that he had married, or that he was laicized - something significant enough that I probably would have heard at least some rumblings about it while at the Courier (I quit there in 1999). Maybe it happened later?

Ah well, all that is between him and God. The funeral Mass is scheduled for St. Ambrose tomorrow.

Thank you Father for some 47 years of service as a priest. God be with you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised he was able to have children if he was as old as I'm guessing he might have been when retiring.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

My suspicion is that they were her children by a previous marriage. Two of them were married, so they were adults, and there's even grandchildren and great grandchildren mentioned in the oibit. Perhaps she was a widow when they married?

5:09 PM  

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