By Elizabeth Lowe
Deacon James C. Monaghan Jr., a deacon of St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis for nearly 30 years, died of complications from recent surgery Sept. 14 at Laurel Regional Hospital. He was 69.
A funeral Mass will be offered Sept. 21 at St. Andrew, where he had also served as pastoral associate.
Deacon Monaghan, ordained to the diaconate in 1979, was active in the parish up until his surgery Aug. 31. He was responsible for the parish’s baptismal and health care ministries, said Father Jeffrey S. Dauses, pastor.
“He was really gifted at one-on-one direct, personal ministry,” Father Dauses said. “He had a great love for the people who would easily fall through the cracks, who were in difficult circumstances. He had a real love for the spiritually down-and-out.”
Deacon Monaghan had a “palpable and deep love for the faith and the Lord,” Father Dauses said, “and really wanted other people to know the joyfulness and the sense of meaning that he had in his life that came from that.”
Born in Baltimore and raised in Riviera Beach, Deacon Monaghan lived in Annapolis for the past 50 years.
A Knights of Columbus member, Deacon Monaghan was married to his wife, Marlene, for 49 years. They had three children, six grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
“He had a joyful spirit,” Father Dauses said. “I would describe him as joyful and affable and a kind-hearted man. He was very easy to talk to and liked to talk to people and would drop whatever he was doing to talk to anyone.”
Deacon Monaghan “loved the parish,” said Father Dauses, who called him “an anchor in the parish” who served as the community’s “institutional memory.”
His death “will leave a very distinct void in our parish,” said Father Dauses, who added there is a “profound sense of gratitude for his life and witness.”
Copyright (c) Sept. 18, 2012 CatholicReview.org