James McKee, OFM
1913 – 1993
Fr. James McKee, OFM, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 7, 1913. He attended St. Charles Preparatory Seminary, and then transferred to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1936, and professed temporary vows Aug. 16, 1937. Fr. James made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1940, and was ordained a priest in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 1942.
Upon ordination, he went to Mexico to work in the Holy Gospel Province for three years. Fr. James then returned to St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., where he ministered for six years. He returned there from 1955 until 1963.
Fr. James had a long and fruitful career of pastoral ministry and service church ministry, which brought him to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manhattan, St. Francis in Brookline, Mass., St. Bonaventure in Paterson, St. Leo’s in Elmwood Park, N.J., St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and to St. Anthony’s Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., as guardian for six years.
He was a hard worker, and much of his life was spent in the care and upkeep of the physical plants of Holy Name Province. He supervised the building of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, as well as the old Friary at St. Bonaventure’s. But the spiritual well-being of others was always his main concern. Until three weeks before his death, he ministered with dedication at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.
He died on July 3, 1993, at the New England Medical Center in Boston. He was 80 years old, a professed friar for 55 years and a priest for 51 years.