Father James J. Madden, MM

Born: September 7, 1933
Ordained: June 11, 1960
Died: January 9, 2014

Father James J. Madden died on January 9, 2014 at St. Teresa’s Residence, Maryknoll, New York. He was 80 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 53 years.

James Joseph Madden, born in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 7, 1933, was one of two sons of Edward and Edna Gottemoller Madden. He graduated from St. Francis de Sales Grammar School and after attending Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana for two years, entered Maryknoll at the Venard in September 1949 and was ordained on June 11, 1960.

Father Madden was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region of Peru. He worked in a parish of migrant people on the outskirts of Lima. Later in the Prelature of Juli he worked in Chucuito, Acora and Mocachi where he served the Aymara people. Father Madden completed a significant experimental mission living and working in rural communities with Aymara families of farmers, ranchers and fishermen. He became fluent in the Aymara Language and was among the first missioners to open an interreligious dialogue with Aymara “wise men.” This was reported in his book “Where Your People Are.” Fr. Madden always felt that he learned more from the people that he served than he contributed to them. His life in mission was marked by a profound respect and appreciation for the people that he served both in Lima and in the Juli Prelature. He was one of the pioneers in developing theology rooted in the Aymara Culture and promoting a Church that was both truly Catholic and Aymara.

He was appointed Third Assistant Regional of the Peru Region in October 1980. In July 1983 Father Madden was assigned to the United States Region to work in the Development Department in the Cleveland and Chicago Houses. While he was assigned to the Chicago House, he had the responsibility of Vocation Coordinator and in 1985 became the Vocation Minister for the Mid-west area. When Father Madden completed his term with the Development Department, he was assigned to the newly created Vocation Office in January 1987, working out of Chicago. After finishing his term in the Vocation Office and attending the Spiritual Renewal Program in the Holy Land, Father Madden was reassigned to Peru in May 1988. He continued his work with the Aymara in the Prelature of Juli until he was reassigned to the United States in September 1991. The Ninth General Chapter had requested the establishment of an Affiliate Program, and Father Madden was appointed as the founding Coordinator for this program. This ministry kept him in touch with the U.S. reality, Catholic and otherwise, through the lay people involved in the Affiliates. Fr. Madden’s ability to leave things in the hands of the Affiliates and to promote their leadership gave a distinctive character to the “Maryknoll Associates.”

After a second term as Coordinator of the Affiliate Program, Father Madden was reassigned to the Andean Region (Peru). In January 1998 he continued his work in the Aymara area and in October 1998 was appointed Second Regional Assistant for the Andean Region.

On October 9, 2007 he was elected Fourth Delegate from the Latin America Region to the 12th General Chapter. Father Madden moved to the Puno House Peru after the conservative bishop of the Juli Prelature refused to renew the contract with the Maryknoll Society. He became the chaplain with the Pastoral Team at the National University in the diocese of Puno, until his assignment to the U.S. and the Vocation Office in September 2010 for a three-year term. Although his term ended in September 2013, Father Madden continued to assist this Office and the new Vocation Director. At the time of his death, Father Madden was a resident at Mission St. Teresa’s.

Wake services were held at 4:30 p.m. on January 16, 2014 at St. Teresa’s, and at 7:30 p.m. in Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll Center where Father Thomas Burns officiated and Father Ernest Lukaschek read the biography. Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated in Queen of Apostles Chapel on January 17, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Father Michael Duggan was Principal Celebrant and Father John J. Sullivan homilist. Burial followed in Maryknoll Society Cemetery with Fathers Paul Masson and Laurence Murphy conducting the graveside service.