James Hallissey

Monday, April 19, 2010

James T. Hallissey, 93, of Mountain Home, passed away on April 16, 2010, at a local care center. He was surrounded by family and friends.

A Vigil Mass will be held on April 20, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mountain Home. A Rosary Vigil will be held in Boise at 6:30 p.m., April 20, at Sacred Heart Church. The burial mass will be on Wednesday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Boise with internment following at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise. Arrangements are by Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.

James T. Hallissey was born Sept. 5, 1916, in Kilbrittain, Cork County, Ireland, to John and Mary Hallissey. He was ordained a priest on Sept. 22, 1940 in the seminary chapel at St. Patrick's Seminary in Carlow, Ireland; at the beginning of the 14th year of Theology. He celebrated his first mass in his local St. Patrick's Church in Cork, Ireland.

In 1940, Bishop Kelly, seeing that America would be involved in the Second World War, urged Fr. Hallissey to come to the United States as soon as possible. He arrived in New York on the Nov. 15, 1940, and spent two weeks, including the first "Thanksgiving" in New York, with relatives. Then he began his three-day train trip out west to Idaho. When he arrived in Cheyenne, Wyo., he notified Bishop Kelly that he was on the way. He was greeted at the train depot in Boise, and was immediately taken to Bishop Kelly's home. Within three days he was shipped to Seattle to St. Edwards Seminary to complete his last year of study. He completed in June of 1941 and was appointed Associate Pastor in Wallace, Idaho.

During the next 11 years he moved into seven parishes, where he stayed a short time in each. He became a parish priest after three years in Wendell, Idaho. On Dec. 7, 1941, he joined the Knights of Columbus, where he would serve for the next 69 years of his life.

In 1970, Bishop Treinen, moved him to Blackfoot, Idaho. He was there a total of six years, and toward the ending of his stay, he got permission from Bishop Treinen to build a log chapel at Fort Hall for the Native Americans. The parishioners requested that it be named "Katera Tekawitha Chapel," named after a Native American maiden who is now blessed.

In June of 1976, he came to Mountain Home to be the pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. In the twilight of his priesthood in Mountain Home, he still celebrated masses in two little mission churches every other Sunday, covering a distance of 70 miles round-trip, where he served for many years as the active priest, and he made many close friends during his long stay there.

In 1990, he celebrated his Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. During his 51 years of active service in Idaho he instructed and brought into the church between 700 to 800 new parishioners.

He was proceeded in death by his parents, John and Mary Hallissey, brothers Dennis and Jack, and his sister, May.

He is survived by sister Sheila Burk of Cork, Ireland, and brother Mark Hallissey of South Africa, and 26 nieces and nephews.

We also want to say "Thank-You" to the following people: Dr. Koelsch and the hospital staff, the nursing staff at the Long Term Care Nursing Home, the staff at The Cottages and to the many family and friends that have helped and prayed for Monsignor James T. Hallissey.