James T. Monaghan SJ

National Jesuit News
April/May 2005

Fr. James T. Monaghan (California), 89, died of a brain tumor October 18, 2004 in Regis Infirmary, Los Gatos. He was a Jesuit for 71 years and a priest for 58 years.

Jim was born in San Francisco on January 27, 1915, attended St. Ignatius High school, and entered the Society at Los Gatos in 1933. He completed his philosophy studies at Mount St. Michael’s, Spokane, earning an M.A. in phi- losophy in 1940. He taught ancient history and Latin at St. Ignatius High School, 1940-43, and made his theology stud- ies at Alma College, 1943-47. He was ordained to the priest- hood on June 13, 1946 in San Francisco. Tertianship was made at Manresa Hall, Port Townsend, 1947-48.

Jim returned to St. Ignatius High in 1948 as a teacher of religion and public speaking. He served as spiritual direc- tor and counselor at Bellarmine Prep, San Jose, 1952-55, and at Brophy College Prep, Phoenix, 1955-62. After a year’s break in parish work, Jim returned to San Francisco as a counselor and teacher of religion and public speaking at St. Ignatius, 1963-71. During this time he also served as Minister of the Jesuit community.

He was assistant pastor at St. Ignatius Church, Sacra- mento, 1962-63. In 1971 he was assigned to St. Clare’s parish, Santa Clara, as associate pastor, becoming pastor there in 1973. In 1975 he returned to Sacramento as asso- ciate pastor of St. Ignatius, a post he held until his retirement in 1991. Jim was especially involved in Marriage Encounter, adult edu- cation, healing ministry and religious education.

Jim was a very shy person and it would seem an irony that he would be assigned to teach public speaking. Yet, his shyness allowed him to help his students who found it difficult to stand before a class to recite. Jim would give them special coaching and build up their confidence, enabling them to face a class of their peers successfully. He had a great devotion to Mary and the rosary and in 1990 he served as chaplain for a pil- grimage to Medjagorje. In 1984, the St. Ignatius parish school dedicated the yearbook to Jim. The citation sums up the way that he affected people and the high regard they had for him: "It is through his example of a simple, child- like faith in God that all those who come in contact with him have learned a little more about their own faith…just by being what he is—a person in love with the Lord." May he rest in peace.


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