Generations of Priests, Seminarians Mourn Demise of Much Loved American Mentor and Formator
Please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr. James Jay Thomas Timothy Patrick Paul Ferry, MM, who joined the Lord on May 28, 2021.
According to Fr Regie Malicdem, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, Fr Jim, as he was fondly called by many, would have been 96 on June 7 and 65 years a priest on June 9.
American priest with Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Born on June 7, 1925 in New York, he first served at the US Navy during World War II as a corpsman, i.e., a surgical nurse, before he entered Maryknoll in 1946.
He in fact arrived in the Philippines with Gen. Douglas MacArthur although would often say, ‘No, it was Gen. MacArthur who came with me. He boarded my ship.’
He had to leave the Philippines for a few years but returned in 1956 after he was ordained a priest of the Maryknoll Congregation.
He was first assigned in Paete, Laguna but later transferred to Mindanao where he spent 30 years in Tagum, Lupon, Baganga, Bato-Bato and Davao City. He learned to speak fluent Cebuano and taught at the Regional Major Seminary (REMASE) in Davao.
"These have been wonderful years of mission work," Fr. Ferry said.
For a time he was the regional superior for Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in the Philippines.
In 1989, he was re-assigned to Manila.
In March 1996, Cardinal Sin appointed him Episcopal Vicar for Religious in the Archdiocese of Manila. He was re-appointed to the same office by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales in December 2003.
As Episcopal Vicar for Religious Men and Women in Manila, he used to teach Sacraments, Liturgy and Homiletics at San Carlos Seminary, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary and Maryhill School of Theology.
For decades, he presided at holy mass at Christ the King Parish in Greenmeadows.
He has also served at Greenbelt Chapel since it began 37 year ago as well as at Mary Mother Hope (Landmark Chapel) in Makati City.
He also gave many recollections and retreats.
Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin wanted to nominate him as a bishop but Fr. Jim declined, saying that ‘to be a priest and a missionary priest is fulfillment enough.’
On Feb. 23, 2002, Pope John Paul II conferred on him the Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.
His taught and mentored several generations of seminarians and priests.
He leaves behind a legendary legacy of a priest who truly fulfilled his life's mission for the Lord.
Written by Margaux Salcedo
Art by Clyde Nolasco
Photo credit: Maricar Santos/
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