The Reverend James C. Meade, a priest for over 50 years who served in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, died January 26, 2005. He was 81 years old.
The oldest of six children of the late James R. and Katherine Ford Meade, James Charles Meade was born on May 9, 1922 in Bellerose. He attended Our Lady of Victory School in Floral Park, and Cathedral Boy’s High School in New York City before entering Manhattan College in 1940. He transferred the next year to Queens College. With the start of World War II, he entered the military and flew seven missions as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress before being shot down on August 27, 1943. He spent the next two years as a prisoner of war in a German prison camp. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his service.
He decided to enter the priesthood after his experiences during the war. His younger sister, Jane Maloney, told The Long Island Catholic in 2002 that her brother had already talked about the priesthood as well as Africa while he was in high school. He studied for the priesthood at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and the White Fathers Scholasticate in Ottawa.
Father Meade was ordained a priest for the Society of Missionaries of Africa, also known as the White Fathers, by Archbishop Alexander Vachon on January 27, 1952 in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to his years as a missionary in Africa, Father Meade also served as an editor of the White Fathers magazine.
Father Meade contracted Malaria, and after 20 years of traveling back and forth to Africa he decided to stay on Long Island and become a parish priest.
He was first assigned as an associate pastor to Blessed Sacrament Church in Valley Stream in December of 1972. The next year he became an associate pastor at SS Cyril and Methodius Church in Deer Park. Using the skills he developed in his time with the White Fathers, he served as an associate editor for the parish publication, Parish Life. Father Meade also worked with Marriage Encounter, the Cursillo Movement and Charismatic Renewal in his seven years at SS. Cyril and Methodius.
He was incardinated into the diocese and became a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on May 6, 1977.
Father Meade was transferred in 1978 to Christ the King Church in Commack where he served as an associate pastor. A year later he became an associate pastor at Corpus Christi parish in Mineola.
In 1985, Father Meade returned to Valley Stream, this time as an associate pastor at Holy Name of Mary Church. He retired in 1992 and continued to live at the parish until 1995 when he moved to Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village after developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Father Bruce Powers who was assigned to SS. Cyril and Methodius with Father Meade told The Long Island Catholic in 2002 that Father Meade spoke fluent French and several African dialects and did the daily and Sunday crossword puzzles in The New York Times.
A wake for Father Meade will be held at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on January 27.
Bishop Emil Wcela will preside at a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, January 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Queen of Peace Residence. Father Bruce Powers will be the homilist. Burial will at Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn.
Father Meade is survived by a sister, Jane Maloney, and a brother, Thomas.