Richard James, OFM
1934 – 2021
Br. Richard James, OFM, was born on Nov. 9, 1934 in Syracuse, New York. He attended the State University of New York Teachers College of Potsdam, New York, before he was received into the Franciscan Order in 1962, professing first vows one year later. He professed solemn vows in 1966 and earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, majoring in education.
Br. Richard spent his religious life in education and administrative positions as well as in service roles at friaries. His first assignment in 1963 was as a tailor at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., and then at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, New Hampshire. From 1972 to 1980, he worked as a teacher at St. Mary Star of the Sea School in Brooklyn.
After a one-year assignment in the finance office at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Richard returned to New York City, where he worked at the Franciscan Pilgrimage office from 1983 to 1985, and then as a teacher at several schools – Immaculate Heart in Brooklyn, Our Lady of Hope in Middle Village, and St. Anthony School in Manhattan.
In 1991, he moved to Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where he made habits. He returned to New York City in 1992, spending two years working for the Franciscan Pilgrimage Office. In his later years, he lived at two Provincial retirement houses – in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Boston – where he served part-time on their staffs. He retired in August 2012 and lived at St. Anthony Shrine until he moved to Beacon in 2020.
He died on March 17, 2021 in Beacon, New York. Br. Richard was 86 years old, a professed friar for 57 years.