Msgr. King Served Diocese as Chancellor and Vicar General

Msgr. James P. King, who served as the chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn from 1965 to 1976 and vicar general from 1979 to 1995, died early on Aug. 1 at Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston, where he resided since 2002. He would have been 92 on Aug 8.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 7 at St. Mel’s Church, Flushing, where Msgr. King was pastor from 1976 to 1991 when he retired.

A native of Manhassett, L.I., he attended Cathedral Prep and College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I. He was ordained June 15, 1946 by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.

He was a parish priest at St. Pascal Baylon, St. Albans, 1946-49, and then was sent for further studies at The Catholic University, Washington, D.C.

He was named assistant chancellor in 1951 and served in that post until 1961. He was vice chancellor from 1961 to 1965 and then was appointed as chancellor.

He was named a monsignor by Pope Paul VI in 1965. In 1976, he was further honored with the title of Protonotary Apostolic.

Msgr. King served as a parish priest consultor and a member of the Priests’ Personnel and Assignment Board, the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Arbitration Board.

He was the author of the book, The Canonical Procedure in Separation Cases, and contributed to The Jurist and The Catholic Encyclopedia.”­­

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto; Msgrs. Joseph Calise, Kieran Harrington, Robert Thelen, Vincent Keane and Michael Curran; and Fathers James Reynolds and Joseph Denzer.

Bishop John J. Snyder, the retired Bishop of St. Augustine, Fla., preached the homily.

Msgr. Calise, who preached the previous evening at the Mass of Transferral, recalled his first assignment was to St. Mel’s with Msgr. King as his pastor.

“It was great having a pastor like that,” said Msgr. Calise. “He was so involved in all aspects of the diocese, I could ask him about anything. Whether it was a wedding case or whatever, I would simply ask, ‘Jim what do I do about that,’ and he would have the answer.

“He also was a great storyteller. He loved talking about the diocese. He could talk to anyone, whether it was the school children or the sick.

“He always took his work very seriously, but not himself.

“He was happiest in the parish. He loved being around people, always with a story, always with a smile,” Msgr. Calise said.

Msgr. Calise said that Msgr. King had picked out all the readings for his funeral. “They’re all about humble service,” he said.

Msgr. King left his chalice to Msgr. Calise, with one proviso – “make sure that it gets used.”

Burial was in Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery, Flushing.