With certain hope in the Resurrection, we commend to your prayers Msgr. James Comiskey, who was one of the founding members of the Southwest Liturgical Conference. He died peacefully in his sleep a little after 1 a.m. Saturday, April 2, 2017 at the care facility run by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Kansas City. One of the sisters was at his bedside, praying the rosary when he stopped breathing.
He was born April 15, 1921, to William Francis and Lois Caroline Comiskey of Kansas City. He attended St. Meinrad College. Father Comiskey was ordained June 3, 1950, at the Cathedral in Amarillo. He was elevated to Monsignor in 1983, the same year the Diocese of Lubbock was erected. Christ the King Parish became the Cathedral in the new diocese and Msgr. Comiskey its first rector. He served there until he retired as Rector Emeritus in 1998.
As a priest for nearly 67 years, he is fondly remembered for establishing countless Masses for migrant workers near Lubbock. Along with parish work, Msgr. Comiskey served as an assistant Director of Vocations and diocesan director of the West Texas State University Newman Club in Canyon, Texas. He served as the secretary and chair of the Amarillo Diocesan Liturgical Commission and in 1963, at the height of Vatican II, helped found and served as president of the Southwest Liturgical Conference, the oldest continuous liturgical conference, which now encompasses 27 dioceses in seven states. He received the SWLC Faithful Servant Award for promoting good liturgy in 1985. He was also chair of the Lubbock Diocesan Liturgical Commission from 1983 until 1993.
Msgr. Comiskey earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Music from the St. Pius X School of Sacred Music in Manhattanville, NY; a Master of Arts in Education (Counseling) from Iona University in New Rochelle, NY; a Master of Arts in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas and a Master of Arts in Liturgy from Loyola University in New Orleans. He published several books: The Ministry of Hospitality, and This is Our Church (for children), which has been translated into many languages including Spanish and Indonesian. Msgr. Comiskey's funeral Liturgy was held April 6, 2017 at St. John Francis Regis Church in Kansas City, MO.
A Memorial Mass was celebrated by Most Reverend Robert Coerver, Bishop of Lubbock, assisted by the priests of the diocese at Christ the King Cathedral, 4011 54th Street, Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 12 noon. Rector Emeritus, Rev. Monsignor Ben Kasteel was homilist.
Rest in Peace, Msgr. James Comiskey. Well done, good and faithful servant.