BROTHER JAMES, O.F.M. CAP.
Died on Friday, October 25, 2013. He was 85. The only child of Clarence and Wilda Allman, James was born on January 5, 1928, in Davis, WV. He attended various West Virginia public schools and graduated from Davis High School in 1946. Although he wished to pursue a medical career, James was drafted into the United States Army
. During a tour of duty in Germany, it was discovered that James had tuberculosis, and he was transferred back to the U.S. at Valley Forge Army Hospital. It was here that he had a spiritual awakening, and in April 1953, James was received into the Catholic Church in East Orange, NJ. He was accepted as a Capuchin postulant in 1955 and began his formation at the Lay Brothers Training Center in Cumberland, MD. Brother James made temporary profession as a Capuchin friar on August 22, 1957, at St. Conrad Friary in Annapolis, MD. He allowed his vows to expire in 1960 to explore the possibility of joining a contemplative religious community. However, he applied for re-admission to Capuchin life in 1961. He was invested in the Capuchin habit a second time and professed temporary vows in 1962. Now known as Brother Urban, he professed perpetual vows in 1965. he was a tailor and infirmarian at St. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, PA. In 1969, his father passed away, leaving his mother without anyone to care for her. Brother Urban was dispensed from vows and cared for his mother for nearly 20 years in Detroit. While in Michigan, James attended Wayne State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. His mother died in 1986, allowing James to return to religious life. He entered a community of Camaldolese monks in Ohio, but remained with them for a little more than a year. He then lived with the Trappists in Kentucky for a short while. In the end, however, he returned to the Capuchins. While he initially sought to live as a layman among the friars, he eventually requested to once again become a friar. He was dispensed from repeating novitiate a third time and made solemn vows at the age of 65, on August 21, 1993, at St. Conrad Friary in Allison Park, PA. After his profession, Brother James was assigned to St. Paul Friary in Cleveland to serve as liaison with the Hunger Center and provide fraternal service. In 2000, he was transferred to St. Augustine Friary in Pittsburgh to help care for the elderly friars. Brother James' desire for an intense life of prayer was realized when he was assigned to St. Joseph Leonissa Friary, the Capuchin Hermitage in Wheeling, WV, remaining there for four years. After a brief assignment in Philadelphia in 2004, Brother James returned to St. Augustine Friary in 2005 for fraternal service. In 2010, he returned to the hermitage in Wheeling for one year. Declining health required that he return to St. Augustine Friary in 2011, where he remained until very recently, when he was admitted to hospice care at Canterbury Place in Lawrenceville, where he passed away. Brother James will be remembered for his gentleness and prayerfulness. Although shy, he had a quick and warm smile for everyone. Brother James had a deep compassion for the poor and lowly. He was an excellent tailor. He is survived by several cousins. Visitation will take place at St. Augustine Friary, 221-36th St., Lawrenceville, on Monday, October 28, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Augustine Church, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 10 a.m. Interment will take place in the friars' plot at St. Augustine Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Province of St. Augustine, 220-37th St., Pgh., PA 15201. Professional services entrusted to D'ALESSANDRO FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, LTD., Lawrenceville. www.dalessandroltd.com
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