Jim Field, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, died this morning, at the age of 58. He was a pastor and teacher deeply committed to the liturgical renewal which arose from Vatican II. Many knew Jim from his work at FDLC, his workshops and writing, and his service and leadership while diocesan liturgy director in Boston. His was a strong and faithful witness.
Here is his obituary from a local paper: http://www.wickedlocal.com/melrose/features/x1143358134/Rev-James-Field-of-Incarnation-Parish-in-Melrose-dies-after-bout-with-cancer
The Boston Globe also wrote a fine story about him a year ago, as he faced terminal cancer yet continued to serve his parish: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/melrose/articles/2009/06/07/melrose_priests_terminal_cancer_brings_new_life_to_his_calling/
The first time I heard Jim speak was a talk on the Paschal Triuduum. He was low-key, crystal clear, very intelligent, and spoke out of a compelling pastoral vision. I eventually got to know Jim better through our common work on the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, where he was a team member and where we also served together on the Board of Directors. It was at those dinners after long meetings in DC that I experienced his (Irish) gift for story-telling and humor.
Jim was a good man, a fine colleague, a staunch ally and advocate for what was best in the liturgical renewal. I mourn his passing. Yet I cannot but believe he now shares in the banquet for which the Paschal Triduum is but the preparation.