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James Lambert, SJ

70 Years a Jesuit
Pastoral ministry


Father James Lambert, SJ, entered the Society of Jesus 70 years ago this fall. 

For the past eight years, he has served in pastoral ministry while residing at the Gesù Parish in Miami, a ministry of the Jesuit Antilles Province. 

Alumni of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., might remember him from his 27 years on the faculty (1968-95).  

During his time in Mobile, he also served as superior (1973-76), academic dean (1976-78), campus minister (1979-95) and chairman of the chemistry department (1982-93).  

Since departing Spring Hill 27 years ago, Fr. Lambert has served in direct pastoral ministry, first in San Antonio, Texas, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Shrine (pastor, 1996-2000 and associate pastor, 2000-05) and then at St Charles Borromeo Parish in Grand Coteau, La., where he served as pastor from 2005 to 2014. 

Father Lambert’s Reflection on 70 Years as a Jesuit:

The emotion that fills my heart at this 70th anniversary moment is one of great gratitude to God. I entered the novitiate at St. Charles College the summer of 1952. Four years later, studies continued in philosophy and chemistry at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Ala., followed by graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which prepared me for the ministry of teaching with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Theology studies began the fall of 1963 at the Jesuit Theologate in Woodstock, M.D. I was ordained the summer of 1966 into the priesthood of Christ by Archbishop Joseph Hurley in Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla.; a Jesuit parish since 1888. After the tertianship year of training in Gandia, Spain, I began in 1968 my first ministry assignment – teaching Chemistry at Spring Hill College. 

The subsequent 27 years of teaching and administration at Spring Hill are filled with countless happy memories. The Lord brought so many wonderful persons into my life. It was a blessing to do my little part in helping students grow intellectually and spiritually. 

In 1995 I was given the assignment of pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Antonio, T.X. Here my elementary Spanish would be called upon and would grow. Transition to pastoral ministry was a challenge, but the Lord filled my heart with a love for the people of the community. In 2005 I was assigned pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Grand Coteau, La.; and assigned in 2014 to ministry at the Gesu Church in Miami, where I currently reside. 

Looking back over these 70 years and aware of the Lord’s guidance, protection and many blessings, I can only give thanks to and praise our saving God. Amen.