|Birth: ||Feb. 21, 1946|
|Death: ||Mar. 7, 2006|
"Look at that little bishop going down the street."
When James E. Molloy was a boy, neighbors would make that complimentary remark whenever he passed by, his older sister recalled. "It was his demeanor, "Elizabeth Molloy, 62, said. "He was very good, quiet, serious, dependable. He really didn't misbehave."
Msgr. James E. Molloy, pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Sellersville, who was also a former rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and a former assistant vicar for administration for the Archdiocese, died suddenly at the rectory of St. Agnes late Tuesday afternoon, March 7. He was 60 years old.
He was to celebrate the 5:15 p.m. Mass that day at St. Agnes, but never reported to the church.
The second of four children of the late Eugene J. and Rosemary T. (Martin) Molloy, he was born Feb. 21, 1946, in Darby.
"From the time that he was very little, he wanted to be a priest," Elizabeth Molloy said. "His whole life was focused on the priesthood. He always said how happy he was in his priestly vocation. He loved his work. He was dedicated to those priestly duties."
His smile - both in childhood and adulthood - was cherished by many, his sister said. During the Molloy siblings' childhood, "when the rest of us would get in trouble, he would just sit there with a smile on his face," because his conscience was clear, he said: "You knew he was thinking, 'Good thing I didn't do it.'"
But there was also an occasion or two when little James Molloy would reveal his rambunctiuous side. Like the time, as a first-grader, when he "refused" to get a polio shot at school. "He got as far as getting in line - then jumped out of line and ran away, "Elizabeth recalled. "They had to chase him through the neighborhood. I can still see my mother and a neighbor chasing him down the street." He eventually got his shot, "kicking and screaming."
And, although the Molloy children were not allowed to play on the railroad tracks that ran near their home, "occasionally, he would step on the railroad track," recalled Elizabeth Molloy, who is now a member of St. Andrew Parish in Drexel Hil.
Msgr. Molloy attended St. Cyril of Alexandria Parochial School in East Lansdowne and Msgr. Bonner High School in Drexel Hill before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.
Father Stephen J. Dougherty, a friend who entered St. Charles two years after Msgr. Molloy - 40 years ago this September - recalled how considerate he was when they met. A prefect at the time, Msgr. Molloy assisted the new seminarians; "He was a nice guy, with a great sense of humor," Father Dougherty said. "That's what connected us. We became very close friends."
Father Dougherty, who was ordained a year after Msgr. Molloy, now teaches at St. Charles and is a priest in residence at St. Margaret Parish in Narberth.
"He was a very intelligent fellow," Father Dougherty added. Remaining true to his blue-collar upbringing, Msgr. Molloy had an appreciation for the basics - "the ability to see fundamental, basic points that sometimes people would skip over," he said.
Although Msgr. Molloy always accepted the assignments he was given, and served in them faithfully, he looked at all of his appointments through the same lens - that of a parish priest - Father Dougherty said. He described his friend as a hard worker, who had a penchant for punctuality as well as a sense or humor. "He knew how to play while he was working."
When Father Dougherty received word Msgr. Molloy's death, "all I could see was [his] smile...His death was like the practical joke on all of us - 'I'm out of here first.'"
Msgr. Molloy was ordained May 20, 1972, at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul by Cardinal John Krol. Pope John Paul II named him a monisgnor May 29, 1991.
He held a bachelor's and master's degrees from St. Charles Seminary, and a master's degree in sociology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Saint Agnes Cemetery
Created by: Maggie
Record added: Nov 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16759524
Rest In Peace, Monsignor Molloy!|
Added: Jun. 26, 2012
I knew you many years ago at St Charles. We always talked about the book Alice in Wonderland. You were the kindest person there. I know you are resting in peace and are in your own "Wonderland".|
Added: May. 14, 2012
Added: Sep. 21, 2008
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