Monsignor Graham Remembered Fondly by Early Stritch Students

Monday, October 8, 2012 1:25:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                     Monsignor James J. Graham

Alumni also remember the weekly “off-the-record” concerts he held, when students and faculty would gather to hear two hours of classical music while reading, studying, writing letters, working on hobbies, or simply listening to the musical selections.

And many laugh today as they recall moments of surprise when Monsignor Graham took candid photos of students as they entered rooms or passed through doorways. Today, two dozen albums in the University Archives include countless pages of surprised students – many of them documented throughout their four years at Stritch – as well as other photos Monsignor Graham took during his local and international travels.

According to his obituary, Monsignor Graham called himself a “maverick” and often was referred to as the “motorcycle father,” owing to his love for motorcycles and the long-distance U.S. trips he took on his cycle during his lifetime.

Monsignor James J. GrahamIn addition to his interest in amateur photography and motorcycles, Monsignor Graham enjoyed traveling the world and was author of two books. “Faith for Life,” published in 1936, went through 13 printings and was used as a religious text in high schools and colleges across the country. “Prayers for the Holy Hour” was published in 1940.

Prior to coming to Stritch, Monsignor Graham taught church history and religion at St. Mary’s Academy, a high school run by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. Before that assignment, he served as an assistant pastor of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Janesville and St. Raphaels Church in Madison.

Information and photos courtesy of University Archives