Last Wednesday, Father James Mifsud, Pastor of Queen of Apostles Church in San Jose, passed away. He was 75 years old.
A wise man once said that “Heroes create joy.” Father Jim created a lot of joy for a lot of people. He was a hero, mentor, guardian, and friend to many thousands of people. James Mifsud stood for the integrity of the individual and looked for the divine in every person.
This is a man who visited people in prison every week for decades. This is a man who converted the parish rectory’s garage into a year-round distribution center for food, clothing, and toys. This is a man who, countless times, went to the hospital at 2 o’clock in the morning to hold the hand of someone dying. And this is a man who built a job placement center on the church’s property for people getting out of prison.
Years ago, at a funeral mass for Mary Lewinski (a beloved piano teacher to many in West San Jose) Father Jim looked out at the congregation and asked pointedly, “Who will replace her?” He then said that no one could really replace her, but that maybe, if one hundred of us joined together we could come close, and that we should at least try. He offered himself as one of that one hundred, and did so with true sincerity and humility. That was Father Jim…he was one of us. Now, who will replace him?
Father Jim is gone. Some may be wondering, what do we do know? Anyone who doesn’t know the answer to that question doesn’t deserve him. We know what to do. We keep going. Stand up for integrity. Always put the needs of children first. Comfort the sick. Don’t throw away those who are in prison. Provide for the less fortunate. Live a sober life. Respect yourself and others. And, most of all, NEVER GIVE UP!
A service for Father Jim will be held on Thursday, Oct 7 at 7pm at Mitty High School, 5000 Mitty Way.
There’s a Facebook page set up: Rest In Peace Father Jim