Fr. Jim worked as a scholar and teacher right into his 90s, and kept involved in the life of his family, and in the lives of many students and former colleagues. He had very broad academic and intellectual interests, which in later years, focused on the environment. He was a man of faith and a scientist.
Fr. Jim was born on March 30, 1914 in Saint John, NB. He studied philosophy and science at the University of St. Joseph’s College in Memramcook, NB. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1934 and did his Novitiate at Guelph, ON. He studied more philosophy and then chemistry at Regis College in Toronto, when Regis offered principally a philosophy program. Fr. Jim taught grammar and Latin to students at St. Mary’s University in Halifax.
Beginning in 1944 he studied theology in Bogota, Colombia. He was ordained a priest in Colombia in 1947 and came home after three years to teach chemistry and physics in Montreal (1948) and in Winnipeg (1949). He made his Tertianship in Port Townsend, Oregon in 1950. After a year of special studies in chemistry in Toronto, he entered his major life’s work at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax as Lecturer and then Professor in chemistry, ending his work there (1954-2006) as Professor Emeritus. Having taught many classes and conducted much research, he shifted from his chemistry interests to the study of fog, which was a well-funded topic of research and had beneficial implications for life in Nova Scotia. He was the prime mover for the University to acquire a computer; at the time it was the first computer in Canada, east of Montreal.
Since his move to the La Storta Jesuit Community in Pickering in 2006, he devoted himself to the ministry of prayer for the Society and for the world. Of clear and active mind and enjoying a pleasant personality, Fr. Jim was always interested in people and events and could be counted on for sustaining long conversations. He will be sadly missed by his Jesuit colleagues, his family and friends.