James P. Lyne, O.S.A.

1904 – 1976 (December 4)

James Patrick Lyne was born January 4, 1904 in County Kerry, Ireland to Michael Lyne and Margaret Cahill, and was baptized two days later at St. Agatha Catholic Church, Glenflesk. As a young man he immigrated to the United States, and entered the Augustinian formation program in his early 20’s. After studying at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, he was received into the novitiate on September 10, 1929. He professed simple vows on September 11, 1930 and solemn vows on September 11, 1933. He 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  theCatholic University of America, Washington. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1936.

Father Lyne taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, from 1937 to 1947, and at St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, from 1947 to 1949. He was named, in 1949, the first rector of postulants 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. He taught at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, from 1954 to to 1959.

In 1959 Father Lyne was assigned to St. Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, as prior of the Augustinian community. He was transferred in 1961 to St. Louis, Missouri and named the first prior of the new Augustinian community at Augustinian Academy there. He taught at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, from 1964 to 1965, and also served as prior of the community there. In 1965 he was named director of novices at St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He returned in 1968 to Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, where he served again as prior. From 1972 to 1975, he was associate pastor of Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Catholic Parish, St. Louis, and prior of the community.

At the age of 71, Father Lyne volunteered to work in the Augustinian Missions in Peru. He resided in 1975 at the Augustinian Center House, Lima, while studying Spanish, and ministering to neighborhood residents as best he could with limited language ability. In 1976 he wished to travel to the mission territory some 700 miles north of Lima, in order to progress in language facility and because there was a shortage of priests there. After a few weeks in the desert parish of San Isidro in Morropón, he traveled up to the mountain parish of Santo Domingo for several days. On his return to Morropón he began to experience possible symptoms of a heart attack.

Early the following morning, he was taken to Hospital Obrero in Piura. He died there on December 4, 1976. The doctors who attended him refused any remuneration for their services, and 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 friars in the Midwest Province. His deep spirituality bore fruit in his Christlike 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.