Rev. James P. Lyne, O.S.A. (1904-1976)

Rev. James P Lyne, O.S.A. entered eternal life on December 4, 1976.

James Patrick Lyne was born on January 4, 1904 in County Kerry, Ireland to Michael and Margaret (Cahill) Lyne. He was baptized on January 6, 1904 at St. Agatha Catholic Church, Glenflesk, County Kerry, Ireland. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 6, 1915 in the same church.

As a young man, James immigrated to the United States. He entered the Augustinian program of formation while in his early 20's. After studying at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, he was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 10, 1929. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 11, 1930 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 11, 1933.

James earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and did theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He also studied at Catholic University of America, Washington. He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1936.

Father Lyne taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, from 1937 to 1947.  He then taught at St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, from 1947 to 1949. After this, he was named the first Rector of Postulants in 1949 at the new St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan. He held that position until 1953, when he was assigned to the faculty of Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, Michigan. From 1954 to 1959, he taught at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago.

In 1959, Father Lyne was assigned to St. Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community. He was transferred in 1961 to St. Louis, Missouri and named the first Prior of the new Augustinian community there at Augustinian Academy.

He taught at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, from 1964 to 1965, and also served as Prior of the Augustinian community there.  He was named Director of Novices at St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1965.

Father Lyne returned in 1968 to Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, where he served as Prior. From 1972 to 1975, he was Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Catholic Parish, St. Louis, and Prior of the Augustinian community.

When he was 71 years of age, Father Lyne volunteered to work in the Augustinian Missions in Peru. In 1975, he resided at the Augustinian Center House, Lima, while taking intensive courses in the Spanish language at the Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norteamericano and at the St. James Language School.  During this time, he ministered to neighborhood residents as well as he could with his limited ability to communicate.

In 1976, Father Lyne wished to travel to the mission territory some 700 miles north of Lima. His reasoning was twofold. First, he believed that this would provide opportunities for progress in learning Spanish. Secondly, there was a shortage of priests in northern Peru and he wanted to see if, at his advanced age, he could withstand the rigors of working in that territory.

After a few weeks in the desert parish of San Isidro in Morropón, Father Lyne traveled up to the mountain parish of Santo Domingo. He spent several days in Santo Domingo, then returned to Morropón.  He began to experience chest pains shortly after his arrival, which were diagnosed as possible symptoms of a heart attack.

Early the following morning, he was taken to Piura, a city about two hours from Morropón, where there was a hospital. He died there on December 4, 1976 in Hospital Obrero. The doctors who attended him refused any remuneration for their services.  They said that even though he must have been in great pain from the massive heart attack that he suffered, they had never seen anyone die with such peace and calm.

Father Lyne was one of the most respected men in the Midwest Augustinian Province. His deep spirituality bore fruit in his Christ-like kindness and openness to all. By word and example, he had a great influence on many of his brothers in Augustine.

Father Lyne is buried in the courtyard next to San Isidro Church, Morropón, Peru.

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