James Linehan, OFM
1904 – 1969
Fr. James Linehan, OFM, was born on Feb. 27, 1904 in Ballyhooly, County Cork, Ireland. His family moved to the United States, and soon after he began his studies at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1930, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1934 and was ordained in 1937.
He was assigned to St. Patrick’s Parish in Buffalo, N.Y., and served there until 1940 when he joined the Province’s Mission Band. In 1943, Fr. James volunteered to serve as a chaplain in the United States Army. He served with General George Patton’s 3rd Army and received campaign starts for the battles of Normandy, North France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe. He was also awarded the Purple Heart with cluster, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Croix de Guerre.
In 1946, he was discharged from the service and went to St. Francis Friary in Brookline, Mass. For six years, he served as guardian and director of the Secular Franciscans. He was then assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City where he spent the remaining years of his ministry. Fr. James always displayed a spirit of joy in his ministry and geniality toward all he served. He enjoyed life and enjoyed being a friar.
He died on Nov. 26, 1969 in St. Clare’s Hospital, New York City. Fr. James was 65 years old, a professed friar for 38 years, and a priest for 32 years.