Father James Aboyi to serve at St. Francis in Superior

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By Vicki Clark

After spending a year in Tucson at a big city parish, the new priest attending to St. Francis of Assisi Parish is so happy to be back in a small town atmosphere.

Fr. James Aboyi, V.C. began his duties as administrator for St. Francis on July first. He was born and raised in Makurdi, Nigeria. He entered St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Makurdi in 1993 and studied for three years before earning a bachelor’s in philosophy. From 1998 through 2000, he spent his pastoral years at the same college while teaching religion, math and other subjects at a local Catholic high school.

Following his pastoral years, he moved to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, to study with the missionaries of St. Paul. He graduated from National Missionary Seminary in June of 2004 with a second bachelor’s degree. This one was in theology. He was ordained the next month and was soon sent to the United States as a missionary, arriving in the Diocese of Tucson. He has also since earned a degree in psychology.

He served in the San Manuel Parish for five months before he officially began his ministries at Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Kearny in February of 2005 where he served for five years.

He was sent to St. Peter and Paul Parish, a parish of 5,000 families, in July of last year where his duties included regular parish work and Pastoral Ministry at University Medical Center.

Although Fr. James liked what he was doing at the bigger parish, he found it much more difficult to get to know the parishioners than in the smaller parishes he has served. “The uniqueness of each parish has really helped me to be patient,” he said. “Moving around has also given me the chance to experience and relate to a variety of people.”

Fr. James grinned widely when talking about living in Superior. “It’s such a pretty little town and the views are wonderful,” he said. “I love the name Superior…like it’s a superior town.”

So now that he’s in Superior, Fr. James will be focusing on the spiritual and pastoral life of the parish along with his administrative duties. He also is excited to be a part of the CCD program and is anxious for classes to begin.

Fr. added that he’s looking forward to the Fiesta next month. “I’ve heard about how wonderful the St. Francis fiestas are and now I get to witness it firsthand.”

At the first Mass Fr. James celebrated at St. Francis, he said he told his parishioners that he could not guarantee that he will be the best Pastor in the history of the parish, but he promises to be very, very honest with them and try his best.

“I want to be as available as possible,” he said. “I see the parish as a family…I want the people to feel free to visit me, give me a call or e-mail me, anytime.”

When not attending to his ministry, Fr. James enjoys watching sports. He follows international soccer and is an avid NBA fan. His favorite team is a no brainer! The Phoenix Suns, of course.

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