Washington Post
October 12, 2004

The Rev. James J. Powderly, 72, a priest with the Archdiocese of Washington who was a national leader in the struggle against alcohol and substance abuse, died Oct. 8 at the Cardinal O'Boyle Residence for retired priests. The cause of death was an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Father Powderly was born in Washington and graduated from Gonzaga College High School and Mount St. Mary's Seminary. After his 1958 ordination to the priesthood, he had assignments at several parishes in the archdiocese, including Immaculate Conception, St. Thomas More, St. Stephen's and St. Elizabeth's. He also taught at Mackin High School, at that time the minor seminary for the archdiocese.

For many years, he was active with the National Clergy Conference on Alcoholism, serving as the group's executive director in the 1980s. In 1975, he was selected to serve at St. Mary's Church in Rockville as assistant pastor/priest in residence and consultant to the archdiocese on substance abuse. He was an adviser to many court systems in their dealings with addiction. In that role, he participated on several Montgomery County committees at the direction of the county executive.

He retired from St. Mary's Church in 1997.

Survivors include a sister, Louise Lynch of Leisure World in Silver Spring, and a brother, John Powderly of Rockville.


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