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
Coady International Institute
St. Francis Xavier University
Preparation for Brazil Missions
Casa Nova, Bahia, Brazil
St. Teresa’s, St. John’s
Preaching and Pastoral help
St. Peter’s, Saint John
St. Patrick’s, Toronto
Fr. Davis as a young man
Biography and images Courtesy of the Archives of Edmonton-Toronto Redemptorists