June 1, 2020 – Fr. James J. Fedigan, SJ, was called to eternal life on May 31, 2020. Fr. Fedigan died in Murray-Weigel Hall, Bronx, N.Y., from causes unrelated to the coronavirus. Fr. Fedigan was born on June 3, 1932 in New York, N.Y., entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on September 7, 1951, and was ordained on June 10, 1965 at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. He pronounced his final vows at Xavier High School, New York, N.Y., on February 2, 1968.
Fr. James J. Fedigan, SJ, was born on June 3, 1932, in New York City; he was one of 12 children. His parents were James and Irene (McGovern) Fedigan. After high school he attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City for one year and then on
Sept. 7, 1951, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson.
After his Novitiate and Juniorate there, he made his Philosophical studies at Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, N.Y. His Regency was spent at Xavier High School (1958-61) and Brooklyn Prep (1961-62), where he taught English, Latin and Speech.
Fr. Fedigan then went to Woodstock College in Maryland for his Theology studies (1962-66). He was ordained to the priesthood at Fordham University Church by Francis Cardinal Spellman on June 10, 1965.
After Tertianship in Dublin (1966-67) Fr. Fedigan began his pastoral work at St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City, where he remained as associate pastor until 1975. That was the year he moved to St. Ignatius Parish in Brooklyn. During his 11 years there, in addition to his pastoral duties, he became Pastoral Minister in Family Services.
In 1986 Fr. Fedigan was on sabbatical at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge MA. After that he spent a year (1987-88) at St. Sylvester Parish in Brooklyn, where he began to minister to the Hispanic community. He then went back to Weston for another year of sabbatical.
From 1989 to 2003 Fr. Fedigan resided at Murray-Weigel Hall, while working in Hispanic Family Ministry at St. Michael Parish in Brooklyn. Around that time Fr. Fedigan began to have some health problems. The winters were particularly difficult, and he often had pneumonia. So, in 2003 he went for a year to the Belen Jesuit Community in Miami, Fla., where he was able to avoid the winter and continue to do Hispanic and Family ministry in the Gesù Church in Miami.
For many years Fr. Fedigan spent the summers in the Bronx, doing ministry in Brooklyn, and the winters at the Gesù Church in Florida. He moved to Loyola Hall in 2004 and through the Catholic Family Movement (CFM) became Director of Family Services for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Director for the CFM Marriage and Family Retreats.
In 2012, Fr. Fedigan moved with the Loyola Community to Kohlmann Hall, a part of the Murray-Weigel Community. He still continued to work both in Brooklyn and Miami until 2017, when ill health and poor eyesight prohibited him from continuing his ministry.
He remained a vital and cheerful member of his Jesuit Community and took part in all Community activities. Fr. Fedigan was an avid Mets Fan and remained very close to his family.
He gave peace and consolation to so many in his ministry, and died quietly at Murray-Weigel Hall on May 31, 2020. May he now rest in the peace that only Jesus can give.
In keeping with public health recommendations due to the coronavirus, the wake and funeral Mass for Jim at Murray-Weigel Hall will be private. Fr. Fedigan’s family will have a public memorial Mass when it is possible.
BURIAL: Jesuit Cemetery, Auriesville, NY