The Rev. James Mathews – best known as Father Jim – was born in Solvay and went to high school at the Christian Brothers Academy. Father Jim says that it was there that the Rev. A. Robert Casey guided him into entering the priesthood.
Father Matthews attended Holy Cross College and then completed his seminary training at St. Bernard’s. He immediately returned to Central New York and has served at seven churches throughout the Syracuse Diocese. Father Jim began his work in suburban parishes but had a desire to reach those at the heart of Syracuse.
He was assigned pastor at St. Lucy’s in 1990 and has served here ever since. As Sean Kirst noted in the Post-Standard (1/5/12) “another guy might have retired long ago to his beloved golf; but Mathews is still rolling at St. Lucy’s.”
One example of Father Jim’s involvement is the Near Westside Initiative. This is a multi-million-dollar effort to revitalize the area by teaming up Syracuse University and dozens of nonprofits, corporations and government agencies, with neighborhood residents, that arose from discussions at St. Lucy’s organized by Father Jim.