Most Rev. James Patrick Mahoney –

Fourth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, 1967-1995

James Patrick Mahoney, the son of Denis and Anna Mahoney, was born in Saskatoon on December 7, 1927 and educated in Saskatoon at St. Paul’s Elementary School, City Park Collegiate and St. Peter’s College in Muenster.

After seminary studies at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis Klein on June 7,1952. During the first fifteen years of his priesthood, Fr. James served pastorally at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Delisle, Colonsay and Blucher, taught at St. Pau’s High School, and was the first principal of Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon. He also attended Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, pursuing studies in Family Life and Counseling. Soon after returning to Saskatoon in 1967, he was named fourth Bishop of Saskatoon by Pope Paul VI and ordained to the episcopacy on December 13, 1967. He chose as his motto: “Fidelis Deus: God is Faithful.”

In his twenty-seven years as spiritual leader of the Roman Catholics of the Saskatoon diocese, Bishop Mahoney undertook and supported a number of notable works within the Church and in the larger community works involving Catholic education, ecumenism, health care, vocations, the spiritual formation of priests and laity, the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women’s League, the Brazil mission and social justice endeavours. He was much respected in the Catholic community and beyond and was able to forge important links with people of non-Catholic churches and faiths, as well as with the civic leaders of Saskatoon, many of whom participated in the celebration of his 25th anniversary as bishop in 1992.

Over the years, Bishop Mahoneys faith provided a strong witness to the People of God in the diocese of Saskatoon. His genuine love of people, young and old, his insightfulness, his compassion and his warm and wonderful sense of humour were gifts which enabled those who saw and heard him to receive the deeper message – the Good News of Christ – which it was his mission to proclaim.

To honour his work in promoting Catholic education in Saskatoon, the Catholic School Board named Bishop James Mahoney High School after him. Bishop Mahoney died on March 2,1995 and following his funeral on March 7, 1995, his body was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon. The James. P. Mahoney Institute for the Family was established in his memory to support projects designed to strengthen families and family life.

[written by Margaret Sanche, 1995]