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Saint Mary's community mourns the passing of Archbishop James Martin Hayes

3 August, 2016


Archbishop James Martin Hayes, middle at 1970 Board of Governors Meeting ?
Archbishop James Hayes (Chancellor, centre) sits between Rev. Colin Campbell (Vicar-General of archdiocese of Halifax, left) and Edmund Morris (SMU President, right) at a Board of Governors meeting on July 31, 1970. (University Photo Collection)

On behalf of Saint Mary's University, President Robert Summerby-Murray expresses  condolences on the passing of Archbishop Emeritus James Martin Hayes on August 2, 2016 at the age of 92.

Archbishop Hayes received a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s in 1943, in addition to honorary degrees from many universities. While serving as the ninth Archbishop of Halifax from 1967 to 1990, he also served as Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University.

The eldest child of Leonard James and Rita (Bates) Hayes, Fr. James was raised near Halifax in Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. He is remembered as a kind, well-respected leader and an effective advocate for the renewal of the whole Church. Ordained to the priesthood in 1947 at the age of 23, Archbishop Hayes was a guiding influence in the ecumenical movement. He helped create the Atlantic School of Theology in March 1971, where Catholics and Protestant denominations have studied together for more than four decades. This was the first time that three denominations united to form one educational institution in Canada. Today, Saint Mary’s University values its important relationship with the Atlantic School of Theology.

Archbishop Hayes retired as Archbishop of Halifax in 1990 and entered into full-time ministry caring for the sick and the dying, as Chaplain in Palliative Care at QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax until his retirement from this ministry in 2012.


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