|Birth: ||Nov. 1, 1938|
|Death: ||Aug. 29, 2005|
Father John "Jac" Campbell, CSP, was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, on November 1, 1938, the son of a salesman. He had one younger brother. After elementary education at public and parochial schools and a Catholic high school, he attended Northeastern University for three years, majoring in marketing and advertising. Following six months active duty in the U.S. Army, he applied to the Paulists who sent him to St. Peter's minor seminary in Baltimore for a semester of Latin. Jac entered the novitiate in 1962, completed the usual program at St. Paul's College, and was ordained a Catholic priest on George Washington's birthday in 1969 with classmates Fathers Bob Pinkston and Larry Boadt.
Father Campbell's first assignment was to Austin, Texas. He had not been there a year when he literally broke his neck while diving into shallow water at Corpus Christi. Seven years in Texas were followed by four in Berkeley and then one year at Santa Susana in Rome and another year in Chicago. He carried on campus ministry for four years in Greensboro before serving briefly in Seattle.
It was in Seattle that Father Jac began an apostolate of reconciliation later known as "Landings." In this program Catholics who do not regularly attend church are encouraged to discuss their faith with active Catholics. In 1991 Father Jac moved his headquarters to the Paulist Center on Park Street in Boston. After a three-year struggle with cancer Father Campbell died at the Park St. residence on August 29, 2005,at the age of 66 having completed 36 years in the Paulist priesthood.
This is the obituary for Father Campbell that appeared in the September 2, 2005, edition of The Boston Globe:
Rev. John Campbell, 66; helped Catholics renew faith
By Tom Long, Globe Staff
The Rev. John ''Jac" Campbell was a minister of reconciliation who reached out to lapsed Catholics coast to coast.
"He was a community builder who made it possible for many to return to their faith without walking into a church filled with strangers," Margaret Renn, Boston office manager of Landings, a grass-roots group founded by the Rev. Campbell, said yesterday.
The Rev. Campbell, 66, died Monday in his residence at the Paulist Center in Boston, where the international organization is based.
Landings was born in a Seattle basement in 1989, when the Rev. Campbell was stationed on the West Coast. The group was founded ''on the belief that we do not have to be trained theologians to share what we believe, and to speak honestly about our faith," according to its website.
Under the auspices of the group, Catholics who do not regularly attend church are encouraged to discuss their faith with active Catholics at weekly two-hour sessions that last about 10 weeks.
The Rev. Campbell said on the website that the organization was not a group of the ''saved" welcoming the ''sinners" on their return, or people pressuring others to return, but an open dialogue through which people might find their way back to the church. He avoided the word ''lapsed" Catholic, because he though it was pejorative.
"He was a person who was able to see a person's pain a mile away and comfort them," the Rev. John Ardis, director of the Paulist Center in Boston, said yesterday.
"There's a lot of anger out there," the Rev. Campbell said in a story published in The Boston Globe in 1992. "A Baptist minister once told me, 'I love your church, but you shoot your wounded.'"
The Rev. Campbell acknowledged that it is often no easy matter to return to the church.
"People leave the church for all kinds of reasons," he said on the website. "Some just drift away, and others go with rage and anger toward the church. When they come back, it's going to take more than an advertisement, booklet, or phone call; it's going to take a lot of meetings with real human beings."
According to the organization's website, more than a million Catholics have participated in the Landings program in 85 dioceses from England to Seattle.
Born in Boston, the Rev. Campbell was ordained in 1969. He served a campus ministry at the University of California at Berkeley before he was stationed in Seattle.
He was a big, outgoing man, but he struggled with mobility in his neck after breaking his spine in a swimming accident early in his career. "I am officially a minister of reconciliation," the Rev. Campbell said in a story posted on the group's website. "From the very first, the response [to Landings] was much bigger than we expected. We needed the laity to make this a grass-roots program that loves these people back to the church."
Saint Marys Cemetery
Plot: Section 2, Row 14, Loc. 106-109
Created by: Paulist Archives
Record added: Aug 27, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96081342
Thank you for all that you gave me on Landings and welcoming back those who left us but still want to talk about coming back. Your not giving up on them allowed them to not give up on us.|
Added: Jul. 12, 2014
Added: Aug. 7, 2013
I remember your kindness to this Lutheran girl with a project on Near Death Experience. You were so warm and kind and you gave me so much insight regarding your own Near Death Experience. I will never forget you!|
Added: Feb. 5, 2013
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