Father James Albert Hayes, Josephite priest, dies at age 92



December 19, 1924 – July 13, 2017

In his 62nd year as a Josephite priest, Father James Albert Hayes passed to a new life at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore, MD, on July 13, 2017. He had been retired for 15 years and in the past year experienced a serious illness. He recently celebrated his 92nd birthday.

Father Hayes was born December 19, 1924, in Presque Isle, Maine, one of three sons and one daughter of Albert and Verna (O’Brien) Hayes. He served with the Army Air Corps in World War II and graduated from Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, in 1950. Motivated by the mission of the Josephites, he then entered their formation program and was ordained in his home parish church in Presque Isle on June 4, 1955.

His parochial assignments as a priest were limited to two St. Joseph churches, one in Jackson, TN, for the month of July, 1955, and the other in Wilmington, DE, in August of the same year. For the rest of his priesthood, he was associated with the Josephite seminaries in Newburgh, NY, and Washington, DC.

From September of 1955 to September of 1984, he was on the staff of Epiphany Apostolic College in Newburgh, NY. He served as as faculty member teaching Religion, English and the Humanities. In addition, he had been Prefect of Discipline, Director of Athletics, Principal of the High School and Rector of the College and overseer of the building until its final sale in the mid-’80s. During this time, Father obtained a Master’s Degree in the Humanities from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY.

During his time at Newburgh, Father Hayes became interested in and studied painting and sculpture and held several exhibits of his work of over 100 pieces of art, some of which adorn several Josephite houses.

In 1985, he was assigned to St. Joseph’s Seminary as assistant director and supervisor of its custodial care as well as assistant to the Pastoral Center. He also had five more exhibits of his art work. In 2001, he retired to Maine on sick leave and ten years later entered St. Joseph Manor.

Father Hayes is predeceased by his parents; sister, Mary and brothers, Jack and Father Pat of the Portland, Maine, Diocese. He is survived by several nieces and nephews including Father William Shaughnessey, an Opus Dei priest.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Burial will be at the Josephite plot in New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore. May he find the peace and joy of the Lord which he sought to express in his art.

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