Monday, September 12, 2016

Jim Young, CSP

Thirty years ago today my Paulist priest friend, Fr. Jim Young, age 46, died.  He had a lot to do with me being a priest and being the priest I am today.  I left Boulder to work with him in San Francisco in 1986.  He never made it to San Francisco.  One of the unique things about Jim was that he began or nurtured lay ministries that responded to what people wanted and needed.  Some priests will begin things they like or that the church seems to think important, such as evangelization.  Jim began a ministry to separated and divorced Catholics when the hierarchy and many clergy thought such people to be pariahs.  Jim taught the laity how to minister to one another.  He was a big hit with the laity, those who felt they were on the edges or outside of acceptable church circles.  A lot of what Jim learned, he taught himself or allowed the laity to teach him.  Then he passed it on.  Jim introduced me to Florida vacations.  It is how I discovered Vero Beach, where I now spend some winter weeks.  When I was working as a vicar in Houston, Texas, he was the one who told me I should think about moving to our church in Boulder.  I did and that was a wonderful experience.  So my life, and the life of many people I have worked with are shaped by my friend Jim Young.  May he rest in peace.

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