Date of death: 12/8/2009

Saint Meinrad Class: C 1971

The Rome, GA community, and in particular its Catholic community, lost a prominent figure Tuesday with the death of Father James Miceli, recently retired pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.Miceli died at a clinic in Minnesota of an apparent heart attack, a church announcement said. He was 60 years old.Father Miceli was an inspiration to all of us, and he led by example, said Father Patrick Kingery, current pastor at St. Mary’s. “His dedication to spirituality and strong faith, coupled with a businessman’s acumen and effectiveness and an architectural talent for designing structures ‘ religious and lay ‘ were outstanding. Few pastors have so skillfully and masterfully integrated the Latino and Anglo communities with their parishes,” he said. Miceli came to Rome as pastor of St. Mary’s in 1990. He served in that capacity for 19 years.During his time as pastor, the church grew from 200 families to more than 1,200 and underwent a major expansion in 1998.Numbers, of course, don’t tell the entire story of Miceli’s work. That can be seen in the lives of those he befriended and mentored.Miceli mentored and developed 5 seminarians ‘ priests-in-training ‘ who would go on to become priests and in some cases pastors of parishes in Northwest Georgia.”Father Jim was, for me, an outstanding example of caring, pastoral ministry to God’s people,” said Deacon Stuart Neslin, parish administrator at St. Mary’s. “It was a privilege to work with him and to experience his advocacy in action. I learned a tremendous amount about diaconal service from Father Jim and all of us here at St. Mary’s are better people for having known him.”Miceli was ordained May 24, 1975, by Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan. From 1975-78, he served as a parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. During this time, he worked in the archdiocesan chancery office in Midtown. He served as the vice chancellor from 1978 to 1982 and was then assigned as a parochial vicar at St. John Neumann Church in Lilburn, where he served from 1988 to 1990. In 1990, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Church. In addition to parish duties, Miceli served on the Pastors’ Task Force on Finance from 1992 to 1993. He served as the dean of the Northwest Rural Deanery from 1995 to 1996 and again from 1997 to 2000. He also served as a judge for the Provincial Court of Appeals.And while James Miceli will be missed by Romans and area residents for his presence in this community, there are others who would share their grief as well.Father Victor Galier, pastor at St. Matthew’s Church in Tyrone, came to know Miceli several years ago as a recent graduate from seminary.”I was assigned to Rome for a year to learn about the diocese and about the inner workings of a church, sort of like an internship,” Galier said. “Jim was a great guy. He taught me so much about the priesthood. It’s a shocking loss. I just saw him a couple weeks ago.”It was wonderful to see how Jim extended his help, love and support into the lives of his congregation. I’m sure the people in Rome are saddened by this,” Galier said. “He will be missed by everyone who knew him.”Information obtained from the Rome (GA) News-Tribune”