James Crowley was born in Ringaskiddy in County Cork on 8 June 1904. He attended national schools in Ringaskiddy and in Haulbowline and from 1917 to 1920 he continued his education at the Christian Brothers’ College in Cork city. He transferred to the Seraphic College in Rochestown in County Cork in 1920. He joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order in September 1921. After his first profession, he attended University College Cork from 1922 to 1925. In 1926 he was sent to Rome for further studies at the Gregorian University obtaining a Doctorate in Divinity in 1930. While in Rome he was ordained to the priesthood on 29 July 1928. Following his return to Ireland, he ministered in the Kilkenny Friary from 1930 to 1932. He was then transferred to the Western American mission custody. His first assignment was in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Oregon. He was soon assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Ukiah, California, and he remained here until 1934 when he was asked to take up a position in the newly established Irish Capuchin mission in Barotseland in Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia). He served as a consultor to the Regular Superior of the African Mission and was later appointed to a pastoral position in the Archdiocese of Cape Town in South Africa. He returned to Ireland in 1967. He briefly returned to the African continent in the 1970s and took up a teaching post in a Capuchin seminary located in Asmara, Ethiopia. The last ten years of his life were spent in the Church Street Friary in Dublin. He died on 29 February 1984 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.
Baptismal name: James Brendan Crowley
Religious name: Fr. Christopher Crowley OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 8 June 1904
Place of birth: Ringaskiddy, County Cork
Name of father: Timothy Crowley
Name of mother: Mary Crowley (née Mahony)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 18 Sept. 1921
Date of first profession: 15 Oct. 1922
Date of final profession: 29 Dec. 1925
Date of ordination (as priest): 29 July 1928 (Rome)
Educational attainments: BA, 1st class hons. (1925); Doctorate in Divinity, Rome (1930)
Leadership positions: 2nd Consultor to Regular Superior, Zambia, 1958-61, 1961-4; 1964-7; Vicar Forane, Archdiocese of Cape Town, South Africa.
Missionary activities: Travelled to the United States in 1931; Travelled to Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia) in March 1934; Returned to Ireland in December 1967.
Date of death: 29 Feb. 1984
Place of death: Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin
Place of burial: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin