Skip to main content

Obituary for Father James Knox

Father James E. Knox

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Reverend Father James E. Knox, 90, who died Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at St. Joseph Rehabilitation and Residence in Portland.

James Everett Knox was born to William and Bertha (Pinette) Knox in Guildford, Maine, on September 21, 1925.  Fr. Knox began studies at Boston College, where he also discerned his vocation to the priesthood.  In support of his application to the diocese and seminary, the then-Dean of Boston College said of the young Jim Knox,  “We have found him [to be] earnest, reliable and cooperative … of sound moral character, honest an dependable.” Similarly, the then-pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dover-Foxcroft said, “He is a young man of great moral integrity and stability.  He has always served at the altar.  I feel that he would be a good subject to send to the seminary to prepare for the holy priesthood.”

Upon completion of his clerical studies (philosophy and theology) at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, he was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Daniel J. Feeney, D.D., Seventh Bishop of Portland, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland, on April 11, 1951.  During his many years of full-time ministry, Fr. Knox served in the following assignments:

• Immaculate Conception Parish, Calais – Parochial Vicar (Spring 1951)

• St. Joseph Parish, Portland – Parochial Vicar (Summer 1951)

• Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland – Parochial Vicar (September 1951-April 1967), including service as Chaplain at Father Carey Camp and Director of Camp Gregory (at Dry Mills).

• St. Gregory the Great Parish, Gray – Founding Pastor of the Parish (April 1967-February 1971)

• St. Charles Borromeo, Brunswick – Pastor (March 1971-November 1981)

• Holy Cross Parish, South Portland – Pastor (December 1981-June 1996), from which he “retired” from full-time ministry.

In addition to his ministry to the faithful in his parish assignments, Fr. Knox also served the diocese, Catholic associations, and his brother priests in the following capacities, including but not limited to:

• Diocesan Liturgical Commission (9 years, including a term as chairman)

• Diocesan Board of Education (6 years)

• Vicar Forane of Sagadahoc / Lincoln Deanery (7 years); Vicar Forane of Southern Cumberland Deanery (10 years)

• Diocesan Personnel Board (8 years)

• Clergy Benefit Plan, Board of Trustee (3 years)

• Knights of Columbus, Chaplain, Cheverus Council #2344 (South Portland)

In retirement, Fr. Knox continued to be of assistance in local parishes, even being asked to be temporary administrator of St. Mary Parish in Westbrook (1997) and St. Philip Parish in Lyman (2003).  Throughout his nearly 65 years of ordained ministry, Fr. Knox was known as a priest whose “counsel is sought by parishioners, fellow priests, and bishops alike because of your wisdom, experience, and Christ-like treatment of others.” (excerpt from a letter written by the Most Rev. Joseph J. Gerry, OSB, Tenth Bishop of Portland, on the occasion of Fr. Knox’s 40th jubilee as a priest).

May the soul of Fr. James Knox, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.