Rev. James Davis, C.Ss.R. 1926-2010

posted on 22/10/10 02:11 pm by Ruth McDonnell  

Rev. James Davis, C.Ss.R. 1926-2010

Born in Grand Falls, NL on October 14, 1926, James Aloysius Davis was the eleventh child of Gertrude Hatch and John Davis and educated by Irish Presentation Sisters, graduating from high school there.

After attending a Redemptorist mission, he came for a year of studies (1942-1943) at the Redemptorist juvenate, which was located in Toronto during part of the Second World War.

In 1943, Fr. Davis entered the Novitiate in Saint John, NB and made first profession at St. Mary’s College, Brockville, on August 14, 1944. He studied at St. Alphonsus Seminary, Woodstock, ON., where he was ordained June 18, 1950 by Bishop John Coady of London, ON. Fr. Davis celebrated his first Mass at Immaculate Conception in Grand Falls with Msgr. W. Finn and Rev. Gerald Murphy, C.Ss.R.

Fr. Davis earned a bachelor of arts degree from Assumption University in Windsor (1956) and a master of arts degree in French from Laval University, Québec City in 1964.

In 1968, Fr. Davis volunteered for Redemptorist Brazilian missions of the Diocese of Joãzeiro. He prepared with language courses in Portuguese and at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. He served in the Brazilian missions from August 1969 to August 1972 where two priests served 60 missions and a congregation of 38,000. Fr. Davis continued an interest in the foreign missions by setting up a Mission Club and his efforts raised more than $10,000.

Upon his return to Canada, Fr. Davis was assigned to his home province of Newfoundland, where he worked as a missionary and pastoral associate at St. Teresa’s parish, St. John’s, for the next 16 years. He held a particular interest in the Cursillo program, Legion of Mary and Marian preaching. Fr. Davis also gave retreats and missions in small, bilingual parishes in the Eastern Townships of Québec. As a parish priest, he was dedicated to home visiting, especially the elderly and the poor.

Fr. Davis returned to St. John’s in 2008 and lived at the Agnes Pratt home, where he died on October 21, 2010 with Fr. Leo English at his bedside. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Teresa’s Church, St. John’s, on October 23 and his body was buried in the Redemptorist plot in Belvedere Cemetery in St. John’s.


Socius to Novice Master
L’Abord-à-Plouffe , PQ

St. Ann’s, Montreal

Assumption University, Windsor

St. Mary’s College, Brockville
Teacher, subsocius,

Coady International Institute
St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, NS
Preparation for Brazil Missions

Casa Nova, Bahia, Brazil
St. Teresa’s, St. John’s
Preaching and Pastoral help
St. Teresa’s

St. Teresa’s
St. Teresa’s

St. Peter’s, Saint John

St. Teresa’s

St. Peter’s

St. Patrick’s, Toronto

St. John’s

Fr. Davis as a young man

Biography and images Courtesy of the Archives of Edmonton-Toronto Redemptorists

Leave a Comment?

  1. I’m a member of St.Peter’s Parish in Saint John,N.B. Father Davis was the kindest, caring & thoughtfulist priests I have had the privaledge of knowing.When my mother passed in 1994 he actually saved my life & continued to visit me at my home to give me strength & the courage to go on without her. I will miss his smiling face & the ability to make me chuckle when I’m feeling blue. Father Davis signed a Good News Bible & presented it to me which I will cherish forever, I have read it now at least 4 times over the years. He will be sadly missed as many would agree that he was a wonderful man & I know he will be waiting for me in Heaven with that wonderful smile of his. Sadly missed by; Emily Ann Doucette

    » by Emily Doucette on Nov 16, 09:42 am - #permlink

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