June 19, 2013
Native of South Colton to be honored in his hometown
South Colton - Franciscan Brother Richard James, will celebrate his golden jubilee in his hometown of South Colton, where Bishop Terry R. LaValley will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on July 15 at 5 p.m. at St. Paul's Oratory.
After growing up in South Colton and attending the State University of New York at Potsdam, Brother Richard decided to join the Franciscans. He professed first vows in 1963 at St. Raphael Novitiate, Lafayette, NJ.
He learned to make Franciscan religious habits at Holy Name College in Washington, DC and did tailoring for a few years.
Brother Richard completed his BA degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn with a major in Education and minors in math and science. After receiving his teaching degree he lived at St. Francis Friary, 31st Street, NYC for 22 years.
He commuted by subway to teach math, science and religion at elementary schools in the Brooklyn Diocese at St. Mary Star of the Sea, Immaculate Heart of Mary and Our Lady of Hope.
Brother Richard then moved to the Archdiocese of New York and taught at St. Anthony's; he also worked with two other teachers in the Archdiocese School Office rewriting the science curriculum and essential learning skills in science for K-9 to update them with the new science requirements in New York State.
Brother Richard gave workshops to teachers involved in teaching science K-9. After this, Richard studied "Administration and Supervision" at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, NY.
While teaching, if Brother Richard didn't go to summer school, he spent the summers working in the Pilgrimage Office in New York City traveling in the USA and Canada. He took one year off from teaching and worked in the Pilgrimage Office dealing with European trips which he found most interesting.
In 1994, Brother Richard moved to St. Anthony Friary-St. Petersburg, FL for three years and took care of elderly friars. He was then transferred to St. Anthony in Camden, NJ where he did finances, teaching and did music for the parish and school. After a year and eight months, he was transferred back to St. Petersburg until 2008.
When a need came about, he was transferred to St. Anthony Residence to do basic nursing duties in the care of elderly friars, taking care of pills, injections and other health care, such as friars that are diabetic, recovering from kidney transplant, etc. Brother Richard found this to be very rewarding as well, as the elderly friars are so receptive and thankful for all that is done for them.
Today as a retired friar preparing to celebrate his golden jubilee, Brother Richard is director of the Money Room at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.