After many years as coordinator of Services for Persons with Disabilities for Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and the annual Day of Recollection Mass and Luncheon in Douglaston, Father James P. Bradley, will retire Oct. 31.
Born in Woodside, Father Bradley, 67, attended St. Sebastian School, Cathedral Prep in Elmhurst and Cathedral College in Douglaston. In 1973, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Francis Mugavero after studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. His first assignment was to St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach. In 1979, he was assigned to Our Lady of the Cenacle, Richmond Hill.
He led a very active life, running two marathons in the early 1980s. In 1981, he received a certificate in spiritual direction from The Center for the Lay Apostolate for the Archdiocese of New York, and in 1984 he was awarded a master’s in Pastoral Counseling from Iona College.
In June of 1985, he suffered a stroke, caused by a brain aneurysm. As he recovered, he continued to reside and assist at Our Lady of the Cenacle. He was assigned by Bishop Thomas V. Daily to Catholic Charities in 1990 to work with parishes and pastors to encourage inclusion and improvement of all types of accessibility for the disabled. Father Bradley also offered training, continuing education and monthly workshops for parish advocates for the disabled, and coordinated these programs for Catholic Charities for 25 years.
During his tenure at Catholic Charities, he was a member of the task force to draft the Diocesan Pastoral Statement on Disabled Persons. Published in 1992, it was entitled “Come to Me: The Church’s Response to Disabled Persons.”
Father Bradley was also a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the “Open Congregation, NYC,” an inter-religious group advocating for greater accessibility and inclusion in houses of worship, mainly in the metropolitan area.
In 1991, he became a group spiritual adviser of CUSA (Catholics United for Spiritual Action) a large national support group of disabled and chronically ill people.
In thanksgiving for his many years of service, a Mass and luncheon were recently held at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston.
Concelebrants included Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, vicar for Human Services and CEO of Catholic Charities, along with Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez. Father Bradley was presented with the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Service Award for over 25 years of service to Catholic Charities.
Msgr. LoPinto, said, “Father Bradley has touched so many with his courage and good humor, while faithfully seeking that our parishes be places of inclusion, especially for those with disabilities.”
“The Mass was beautiful, and the award plaque is beautiful,” said Father Bradley. “I am honored to have received it, especially one that is named for Bishop Joe Sullivan, a great man and priest, a wonderful Charities person. The lunch provided a nice occasion to see many of my advocates for the last time. A good moment of closure!”
Father Bradley is moving to Houston, Texas, where he plans to continue to serve the disabled.