Father James Molloy, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1880-1939)

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Born Michael Molloy on May 20, 1880 in Newark, New Jersey, at fifteen he entered the Passionist Preparatory College at St. Mary’s Dunkirk, New York. After one year there he was sent on to the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and pronounced his vows on January 27, 1897 with the religious name of James. He studied at Holy Cross, Cincinnati, Ohio but while there contracted a cold which reached into his lungs. A specialist then told him that he had only six months to live. At that point the superiors sent him to Sacred Heart Retreat, Louisville, Kentucky as the weather was thought to be more beneficial and where he could prepare to die. However, his health began to improve and eventually he was able to continue his studies. Finally on December 17, 1904 he was ordained by Bishop J.J. O’Connor of Newark, New Jersey. Father Molloy’s early years as a priest were spent a the Passionist monastery parishes at Dunkirk, New York, Baltimore, Maryland and West Hoboken. At Baltimore and West Hoboken/Union City after 1925, he organized church choirs which coincided with the interest in music led by Pius X. Eventually Father Molloy became a preacher of parish missions where he was quite popular. He also proved to be a very good retreat master and was in constant demand by communities of religious women, especially the various locations of the Good Shepherd Nuns. Many people were inspired by Father Molloy to enter the Passionists. After about twenty years as a preacher his health took a turn for the worse. On January 25, 1937 Father Molloy fell and broke his hip and received care at Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Massachusetts for about two months. After that his life was confined to a wheel chair and eventually after much suffering he died.