TEWKSBURY, Mass. – Rev. James J. Pillar, O.M.I., 92, died on Dec. 19, 2020 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, Tewksbury, Massachusetts. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and was a son of the late Jerome H. and Gertrude D. (Swifta) Pillar. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald and Gerald.
Father Pillar began studies for the Catholic priesthood in 1942 at Oblate Seminaries, St. Henry’s, Belleville, Illinois and at Our Lady of the Ozarks, Carthage, Missouri. He professed his first vows on Aug. 15, 1949 and was ordained to the priesthood at St. Paul Cathedral, Minnesota on June 5, 1954. He earned his Theology and Philosophy degrees at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He studied English Literature at Ottawa University in Canada.
Much of Father Pillar’s life was spent in the classroom teaching at the Oblate seminary in Pass Christian, Mississippi and twenty-seven years at Loyola University in New Orleans. In 2012, a Distinguished Professorship in History was established in his name at Loyola University. It was subsequently renamed the A.D.G. Distinguished Professorship in history, highlighting his close association with Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity.
A published American church historian, he earned his PhD in Ecclesiology at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He retired from teaching in 1992 and did parish work in Colorado Springs. He enjoyed camping in the Rocky Mountains and serving as a cruise ship chaplain.
Upon retirement in 2004, he was a resident of Oak Meadows Senior Living in Oakdale, Minnesota. In 2017 he transferred to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, where he remained until his death. In addition to his Oblate family, he is survived by many relatives and friends.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funeral services will be private. Father Pillar will be buried at Saint Joseph Cemetery, East Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
Donations in memory of Father Pillar may be made to the Oblate Infirmary Fund, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876-2849.
ST. LOUIS – Sister Virginia (Virginia Katherine) Delaney, D.C., died on Dec. 28, 2020 at Seton Residence in Evansville, Indiana. Sister Virginia was born on Sept. 4, 1931 in Natchez, Mississippi, and was one of four children of Marcus James and Mary Katherine (Gilbert) Delaney. She graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School (Cathedral School) in Natchez, in 1949 and entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis, Missouri, the same year.
After initial formation and earning a B.S. degree in Nursing from Marillac College in St. Louis (1961), Sister Virginia served in health ministry as a Nurse Supervisor at Providence Hospital in Mobile and St. Paul Hospital in Dallas. She received an M.S. degree in Public Health Nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan (1968) and an M.A. degree in Theological Studies from Springhill College in Jackson, (1988). Sister was a Public Health Nurse at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham; Charity Hospital in New Orleans; St. Mary’s Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan; and for the County Health Department in Selma, Alabama. She also served as a nurse at Marillac Social Center in Chicago and as a teacher at Loyola University in Chicago and Alcorn State University in Natchez, (1985-1988). In 1988, Sister Virginia began her ministry in Mission Integration at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham, and as Director of Mission Services at the former Mater Dei Provincialate until she moved to Seton Residence to serve in the Ministry of Prayer.
Sister Virginia was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana, and a memorial Mass will take place at a later date. Sister was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Merle McLain; and her brother, Leo Delaney. She is survived by her sister Mary Gunning; nieces and nephews; her Sisters in community; and many friends.
Donations may be made to the Daughters of Charity, 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108.