Obituary of James Joyce (1946 – 2022) – Pittsfield, MA



Reverend James K. Joyce, 75, a longtime former pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, died on Saturday evening, January 8, 2022, of a long illness. He was born in Pittsfield on April 23, 1946, the fifth of six children of the late Paul J. Joyce and Rita J. Frawley Joyce. Bro. Jim was a 1964 graduate of St. Joseph’s Catholic Central High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Siena College in Loudonville, NY in 1968 and a Masters of Divinity from Niagara University in 1972. Fr. Jim attended Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Glenmont, NY. Jim was ordained a priest on April 22, 1972 at St. Joseph’s Church.

His first assignment was as Parish Vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Springfield from 1972 to 1978. He was subsequently appointed the first principal of Catholic Schools in Pittsfield, a position he held from 1978 to 1987. He served as the first principal of Catholic Schools in Pittsfield. served as administrator of St. Mary’s Parish in Cheshire, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Pittsfield, and North American Martyrs Parish in Lanesboro.

On December 10, 1988, he was appointed pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart and served as such until January 1, 2016.

Among his many other functions, Fr. Jim served as a representative of the Pittsfield District Council of Churches for twelve years as a member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council for six years and a member of the Clergy Commission for the Diocese for six years. Bro. Jim was also a member of the annual Catholic appeal award committee for twelve years.

Most recently, Fr. Jim was a member of the former Pittsfield Catholic Schools Board of Trustees as well as a Trustee of the Diocesan Catholic School Board. He also served on the board of directors of Berkshire Place, where he helped establish a chapel for prayerful reflection. Bro Jim has always been proud of his Irish heritage and has visited Ireland twice and enjoyed both trips very much. He fell in love with Killarney and always said he could retire there … if they built a bridge!

Bro. Jim loved to play golf, despite his lack of skill with the clubs. He was selected by the Berkshire County Irish American Club 2010 as “Irishman of the Year”.

He is survived by his two sisters, Mrs. Martha Huggins and her husband, Bill, of Pittsfield, and Mrs. Judy Curtin of West Sand Lake, NY, her three brothers, Joseph P. Joyce of Hatfield, PA., Philip F. Joyce and her partner, Michael Oatman of Ellenton, FL. and Peter D. Joyce and his wife, Wendy of Ellenton, FL.

Bro Jim loved, loved, loved his twelve nieces and nephews and twenty-seven great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by a brother-in-law, John Curtin and a sister-in-law, Pat Joyce, as well as a niece and nephew, Amy and Timothy Joyce.

Calling hours at SACRED HEART CHURCH, 191 Elm Street, Pittsfield, MA will be this FRIDAY, January 14, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the Vigil for Fr. Jim will follow at 7 p.m.

The Christian burial liturgy will be celebrated with Bishop William D. Byrne, Bishop of Springfield, as chief celebrant. The concelebrants will be Mgr. Michael A. Shershanovich, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church and Reverend Steven G. Montesanti, pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, officiating, in addition to many priests throughout the diocese. Interment will follow at Saint-Joseph cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, commemorative donations can be made to the Sisters of Saint Joseph in the care of the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME.

Posted by The Berkshire Eagle on January 12, 2022.

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