Fr. Jim was born Dec. 17, 1952 at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He is a son of an Air Force career man and a Filipina mother. After going to many different primary and high schools in keeping of the life of a military dependant, Father graduated high school in 1971.
After high school Father Jim spent many years working in factories and a shipyard. He worked as a laborer sand blaster for four years in the shipyard at which time he started going to community college at night, finally quitting the shipyard in 1979 so he could finish his college degree in Social Work which he received in 1981.
Father entered Maryknoll in 1982 and first went to Tanzania in 1985 to 1987 as part of his mission-priesthood formation program. After ordination in 1988 he asked for and was assigned to work with an indigenous people called the Wataturu, a pastoral people who have kept to their traditional ways. He was with them for two years.
Afterwards he worked in a rural parish on the Serengeti Plains for six years, four years as assistant pastor and two years as pastor. He was called back to work in the vocation department in 1996 where he worked until his return to Tanzania in 2000.
On his return to Tanzania Fr. Jim enrolled himself in Maryknoll priest Fr. John Eybel’s Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza for two years. There he learnt pastoral counseling skills and interacted with fellow Tanzanian students on a deep level.
In 2002 Fr. Jim started working full time in a poor urban section of Mwanza to help out a local priest in giving pastoral service in his very large parish. After two years of conversations, meetings, pastoral service, and visiting, the Christians and Fr. Jim asked the bishop to declare Mabatini a parish which he did on 12 Sept 2004. The name we took for our parish is Transfiguration Parish.