Father James LothamerFather James Lothamer, PSS, PhD, passed into the warm embrace of eternal love on November 1, 2019 on All Saints Day, at the age of 76. Born James William Lothamer in Coldwater, MI on November 9, 1942 to John and Helen (Cox) Lothamer, he was the second child of a family of 14 siblings.
As a young man, he attended Coldwater St. Charles School before entering St. Charles Seminary in Columbus, Ohio where he received his undergraduate degree. He completed his seminary training at St. John’s Seminary in Plymouth, MI. Prior to his ordination to the priesthood, he joined the Society of St. Sulpice, a French order of priest teachers that conducted higher education for priests and lay ministers throughout the world.
Fr. Jim was assigned to St. Mary’s College in Baltimore, MD, where he remained for 20 years of his ministry. While in his teaching and administrative duties at St. Mary’s he took a sabbatical to the University of Toronto where he earned doctorate degrees in Theology and Philosophy.
Returning to Michigan in the early 1990’s, Fr. Lothamer served as Pastor and Intermediate Pastor at the following Churches: St. Joseph, Adrian; St. Agnes, Fowlerville; St. John Student Chapel, East Lansing; St. Mary, Pinckney; St. Mary, Charlotte; St. Ann, Bellevue; St. Mary, Bronson; and St. Mary, Morrice. Each parish brought new friends and relationships that he cherished and maintained. A three-year interim was spent in Menlow Park, CA, as director of a Sulpician Retreat Center for Catholic Priest.
A long life of servitude and involvement as a priest, teacher, friend, and family member, Fr. Lothamer led a life focusing on the importance of community, social action, and the mystical love of God. He was always generous with his intellect and resources, and his homilies are noted for the deep and powerful teaching truths that pervaded his texts.
Among Fr. Lothamer’s loves were company, study, travel and family ancestry. Connecting his American family with their European counterparts through his language skills, he cemented family ties. He delighted in sitting in the French/German countryside sharing conversations and a glass of wine with his European cousins.
Fr. Jim was well loved by his large family. He knew each person from the oldest to the youngest and, as one nephew shared, “He was always nearby.” Fr. Lothamer’s life journey involved prayer, knowledge and heart. He will be missed by all who benefited from his ministry and presence.
Fr. Jim is survived by his sisters: Susanne Colligan, Sharon Harrington, Rose Bonvillain, and Helen Malinowski; his brothers: Peter, Jesse, Timothy, Simon, Joseph, Patrick, Jerry, and Christopher. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jack; and his parents.
Friends were encouraged to pay tribute to Fr. Jim during the following services. A Rosary was held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Fowlerville, MI. Visitation followed from 5-7:00 p.m. and a Vigil Service was held at 7:00 p.m. A second visitation was held on Friday, November 8, 2019, at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Fowlerville, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., followed by the Funeral Mass at 6:30 p.m. A third visitation was being held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Ann Catholic Church in Bellevue (Fr. Jim’s birthday) with a Prayer Service at 10:30 a.m. Interment followed the Prayer Service at Riverside Cemetery in Bellevue, MI.
If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Lothamer Family Burse of Zambia, checks payable to The Society of St. Sulpice. Cards may be sent to the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Fowlerville. Friends and family are asked to share memories of Fr. James Lothamer on his Tribute Page at www.PrayFuneral.com. The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte.