Father James H. Flanagan (Father Jim), Founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), passed into eternal life on Thursday, March 24, 2016 in Bosque, New Mexico. He was 91 years old. Father Flanagan was born on May 29, 1924 on the Feast of the Ascension at Forest Hills Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were James Henry Flanagan and Rose Freeley Flanagan. Father was the oldest in the family of five, three brothers and one sister: Joseph, S.J., Kevin, Newman, and Rosemarie. Father Flanagan was preceded in passing by his brothers, Father Joseph and Kevin.
Father was baptized on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity in Sacred Heart Church in Roslindale, Massachusetts. He received his First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation at the same church.
He completed elementary school at St. Frances Xavier School in the Sacred Heart Parish in Roslindale and graduated from Boston College High School. After a year of studies at Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, New Jersey, he entered Notre Dame University on a football scholarship. In 1943, he joined the Navy and served in World War II in the Pacific War Zone as a Navy Frog Man; after the war, he returned to Notre Dame and began taking classes in the law school in addition to his undergraduate courses.
Father was called by God to the priesthood after returning to Notre Dame for a year and entered Saint John Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston. On January 10, 1952, he was ordained a priest by Richard J. Cardinal Cushing (then Archbishop Cushing) at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross. His first assignment as a priest was Associate Pastor at St. Elizabeth Church in Milton, Massachusetts. A year and a half later he received his second assignment as Assistant Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Lowell, Massachusetts.
On December 8, 1957 Father Flanagan was permitted to depart from the Archdiocese of Boston to prepare for the foundation of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico under the sponsorship of His Excellency Archbishop Edwin V. Byrne. He was assigned Associate Pastor serving at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Holman, New Mexico where Fr. John McHugh (later, the first SOLT priest) was pastor. While he was at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, Fr. Flanagan founded the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on July 16, 1958, comprised of priests, consecrated sisters and brothers, and lay members. From its small beginning in Holman New Mexico, SOLT has grown to having missions and apostolates both in the United States and throughout the world. Currently, SOLT’s Generalate is located in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Monday, March 28, 2016
Wake and Rosary: Our Lady of Belen in Belen, NM, 6-9 pm
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
-Viewing at 12 pm: St. Gertrude the Great in Mora, NM
-Rosary: 12:30 pm
-Funeral Mass: 1 pm
-Burial immediately following at the Sisters’ Convent in Holman, NM
-Reception following burial