In Memoriam: Fr. James M. Collins, SJ
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Born March 7, 1925
Entered the Society Aug. 14, 1947
Died at Campion Center, Weston MA, Jan. 24, 2013
Fr. James Collins, SJ
Jim (or Murray, to his family and longtime friends) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 7th, 1925. He graduated from the elite Boston Latin School in 1941 and entered Boston College that fall but broke off his college education two years later to serve in the U.S. Army. The Army sent him to pre-med studies at Yale; when he received his B.S. degree there in 1946, the war had ended. In 1947, he entered the novitiate at St. Andrew on the Hudson, at Poughkeepsie, New York, taking first vows in 1949. He did philosophy studies at Weston College, Massachusetts, until 1952; then taught chemistry during regency at Boston College High School from 1952 to 1954; and began theology studies at Woodstock College, Maryland. He finished only one year there, when the decision was made that he would continue his studies in India.
In 1955, Jim arrived at Loyola School, Jamshedpur, Bihar, at that time a mission of the Maryland Province, where he taught mathematics and theology while studying Hindi. A year later he resumed theology studies at St. Mary’s College, Kurseong. He was ordained a priest there on March 25th, 1958, and continued his theology studies for another year, as was the custom then. From 1959 to 1961, he taught various subjects and served as Dean at Xavier Labor Relations School, in Jamshedpur. He did tertianship there in 1961-1962, then returned to the Xavier Labor Relations School for three years as philosophy teacher and Dean. From 1964-1966, he earned an MBA in finance and business administration at Boston College, after which he returned to the Xavier Labor Relations Institute, where he was Dean for three years.
In 1969, he returned to the U.S., serving for the next eleven years in the Maryland Provincial Office in Baltimore, first as director of the international apostolate, then as Socius to the Provincial. From 1980-1983, he was Socius for the New England Provincial and director of the province renewal program. For two years, he was executive assistant to the President of St. Joseph University, Philadelphia. In 1985, he began his long association with the Boston College Jesuit Community, serving first as Treasurer and Sub-minister, then as Minister, Prefect of Health, and Assistant Rector. In 2007, he moved to Campion Center, where he lived until his death on January 24th, 2013.