Father James Day, OSST, 77

“In the past, we who served in religious life traditionally received minimal compensation because of our vow of poverty. Therefore, when donors contribute to the retirement fund, it not only shows appreciation for our work as men and women religious but also provides us with a sense of security in our old age,” says Father James Day, 77, a member of the Trinitarians in Sykesville, Maryland.

Father James, born on October 28, 1945, in Philadelphia, grew up in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic schools where he was taught by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pennsylvania. It was these same sisters who provided him with a witness to religious life.

After high school, Father James entered religious life after being introduced to the Trinitarians by his cousin, who was also considering entry to the same order. It was the pure joy that the Trinitarians showed in all that they did that attracted him most. He made his final vows in August 1967 and was ordained on December 2, 1972.

After his ordination, he spent three years in formation work, training young men religious, and then spent 18 years as the pastor of a parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He then spent 29 years in the ministry of Catholic education, with 27 years at DeMatha Catholic High School, where he continues today as president.

Father James is very devoted to Padre Pio, and his life’s motto is “pray, hope and don’t worry.” He finds joy and inspiration in Padre Pio’s perseverance and life of prayer and believes that it offers hope to others. “On days when I am worrying about something, I ask Padre Pio to intercede,” he notes. “And it works!”

What’s Father James’ recipe for a long, happy life? “We must try to live our lives as an expression of helping others discover Jesus and the joy that comes back to us.

The more connected we are to people, the more patient we become, the more we listen, the happier we are to do what we are doing,” he says. “The joy and laughter that I witnessed as a young boy attracted me to the life I chose.”