PORTLAND – Father James J. Morrison, 67, of Portland, died Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Mercy Hospital with friends and family by his side. He was born in Portland, on April 8, 1946, the only child of Thomas and Veronica McCafferty Morrison.
After graduating from Cheverus High School in Portland, Jim completed his studies in philosophy and theology at St. Paul’s Seminary in Ottawa, Canada. After serving a deacon internship at Sacred Heart Parish, Yarmouth, he was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Peter L. Gerety, Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Portland, on May 11, 1974, at St. Joseph’s Church, Portland. During his years of full-time ministry, Father Jim served in the following assignments; Parochial Vicar at St. Margaret’s Parish, Old Orchard Beach 1974 to 1978; Associate Director of Vocations and Assistant Chancellor Pro-Tem, Summer of 1978; Graduate Studies at the School of Canon Law of the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, earning the degree of Master of Church Administration, September of 1978 to May of 1979; Temporary Administrator at St. Edmund’s Parish, Westbrook from December 1978 to January 1979; Vice Chancellor 1979-1983 and Director of Vocations from 1979 to 1986; Pastor at St. Gregory’s Parish, Gray from 1983 to 1986; Pastor at St. Mary’s Parish, Old Town from 1986 to 1992 and added St. Joseph’s Parish, Old Town from 1990 to 1992 and the newly merged parish of Holy Family Parish, Old Town from 1992 to 1995; Pastor at St. Christopher’s Parish, York from 1995 to 1998, Pastor at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Scarborough from 1998 to 2006; temporary administrator at Holy Family Parish, Lewiston in 2006; Parochial Vicar at St. Philip, St. Louis and Sacred Heart Parishes, Auburn, now Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, St. Catherine Parish, Norway and Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Mechanic Falls, now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Norway from 2006 to 2008. Father Jim also served in the following capacities; Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Old Orchard Beach and Old Town, Chaplain to the Roman Catholics at Pineland Center, volunteer staff to the Diocesan Marriage Counseling Program, Guardian ad litem to the Diocesan Tribunal, Vicar Forane to Central Penobscot Deanery for ten years, member of the Council of Priests for five years and member of the College of Consultors for five years. On July 1, 2008, because of declining health, Father Jim retired from full-time active ministry; for a period of time, he continued to reside at Sacred Heart Rectory in Auburn and he provided ministry to the extent he was able. Father Jim eventually moved to St. Joseph Rehabilitation and Residence, Portland, where he continued to exercise pastoral and sacramental ministry for the benefit of the residents, their families and staff. Many Thanks for the compassionate care provided to Father Jim, both by the staff of Mercy Hospital in his last days, and the staff of St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence over the past few years.
Father Jim was predeceased by both of his parents. He is survived by many cousins among whom are Natalie and John Bonnell of Falmouth, Thomas and Linda Dunlay of Dixfield, Robert and Jane Nadeau of Rumford and John and Nancy Dunlay of Bangor.
Friends and family are invited to attend a Reception of the Body that will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Our Lady of Hope Parish, 673 Stevens Ave., Portland. Father Paul Plante, Vicar for Priests, will preside and preach. Father Morrison will lie in state until 7 p.m. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, at St. Joseph’s Church. Most Reverend Joseph J. Gerry, O.S.B., Bishop Emeritus will be the Principal Celebrant. Father Eric Dunn will serve as the homilist. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. Arrangements are under the direction of Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. Those who wish may make contributions in Father Morrison’s memory to; St. Joseph Rehabilitation, Pastoral Care, 1133 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04103; or Diocesan Priests Benefit Plan, 510 Ocean Ave., Portland, ME 04103. Online condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com.