Brother James T. Curran, , l.b.s.f.

  • Born: June 13, 1932
  • Died: June 28, 2015
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Eaton Funeral Home

1351 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492
Tel. (781) 444-0201

Tribute & Message From The Family

Brother James T. Curran, ,l.b.s.f., founder of the Little Brothers of St. Francis, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at St. Joseph Manor in Brockton. He was 83 years old. Born and raised in Boston, Brother James was an active member of St. Leonard's Parish in the North End. He professed his Tertiary vows to the Franciscans on September 9, 1951. He attended Boston University and worked for the National Opera Company for many years. Brother James founded the Little Brothers of St. Francis on September 8, 1970 and ministered to Boston's homeless for over 4 decades. Son of the late James P. and Anna V. (Diffley) Curran. Brother is lovingly survived by the members of his Order, several cousins and many dear friends. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help "Mission Church", 1545 Tremont St, Boston on Wednesday July 1 at 10AM. Relatives and friends are welcome to attend. Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave Needham, on Tuesday from 4-8PM. Interment at Mt. Benedict Cemetery, West Roxbury. In lieu of flowers, donations in Brother's name may be made to Mission Church or to Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston, 51 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02110.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I remember Bro. James often and am grateful for the time I spent living and ministering in Boston as a brother in the Little Brothers of St. Francis. His perseverance through difficulty and trial and his dedication to his vocation are an inspiration. I continue to pray for the repose of his soul and remember him when I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. May perpetual light shine upon him!

Posted by Fr. Giles Gilbert, OFM Conv. - Chicago, IL   November 12, 2018


Pax Tibi Bro Jim

Posted by richard lafontaine - pawtucket, RI - Friend   January 07, 2017

Back in 1962, when I was19 and attending Boston University, I was accepted by Sarah Caldwell, of The Opera Company of Boston, to join their union chorus. I had sung a lot in shows in High school and college, but I had never sung professionally. Sarah appointed James Curran, to be my guide. He was 11 years older than me and a great singer and actor. He was also a wonderful mentor. Sarah Caldwell praised Jim constantly for his work onstage as well as backstage.

Once, when she realized that her yearly National Endowment for the Arts Grant application was due in Washington DC that very day by 5:00 PM, she trusted none other than Jim, as we called him back then, to grab a plane and get that application to the NEA office before 5:00 PM. which he did with 5 minutes to spare

Note, for some reason unknown to me, lol, she often cast Jim as a monk or as a person of a similar religious order in several of her Grand Operas. So, later on, seeing him in the second half of his life wearing the frock of the Little Brother's of Saint Francis, that he founded in Boston, was not a huge change in his physical appearance to me.

In 2009, just before Christmas, I had a major heart attack. I was up late contemplating my open heart operation the next day. At 2:00 AM I panicked and phoned Brother James. Miraculously, he answered the phone himself, he had just gotten up to get a glass of milk. It was like a miracle to hear his comforting voice for a few minutes during that long night.

When my operation was over, Brother James brought me to the Little Brother's home because my housemates were away and you have to have someone with you that first night. The brothers were all wonderful to me and it was a spiritual experience to spend that first night in the same room that Mother Theresa stayed in and it had Christmas candles in the windows. James was so thrilled when Pope Paul had the Little Brothers come to the Vatican to be honored for their work. Jim, I already miss you very much.

Posted by Peter Benjamin - MA - Friend of Jim Curran; 73 years   August 17, 2015

I'm a little late. I only today July 11, 20115, learned of the passing of our dearly beloved brother James. James and all of his community members were always so kind and hospitable to us. Whenever we needed to visit Boston, our trip was a tiring four hours but, they always made room for us to stay in their friary. During one visit, I was offered to stay in the same room that St. Mother Teresa stayed in. Upon another trip to Boston, we asked for lodging and it was granted. Only later did we learn that one of the brothers gave up his bed for us and he slept on the sofa. Bro. James is greatly loved and will be sorely missed by his "brothers" in Maine. May our good Lord give James a mighty welcome to his new resting place in Heaven. May James be overwhelmed when he meets all of those poor on the streets of Boston who now welcome him into paradise. Eternal rest grant unto James O Lord. May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by Brother Kenneth Leo, F. B. S. E. - Bucksport, ME - a fellow Franciscan Brother   July 11, 2015

Dear beloved of Brother James,

**Yesterday, 06/29/2015 on the two-year anniversary of my mother's passing, a dear friend joined my husband and me for an anniversary dinner, having handed me, while we waited for the P&B bus from South Station to arrive in Barnstable, a printout of a picture (scroll down to mid-webpage) of Br. James and Cardinal Sean from Cardinal Sean's 2009 blog--

**For a good half hour, my friend and I talked about how Brother James would be a few years older than he, accurate since Brother James was 83 and my friend--a widower, a Knight of Columbus, and a Third Order Franciscan--is 81 and at times explores converting his home to house of prayer, about which procedural information about how to do such would be welcome via

**Conversation also turned to the work of Brother James at Don Orione, from which my mother was sent to Mass General, blessedly to pass at her home hospital and in the care of the most angelic of nurses, where in a quiet room on a quiet afternoon Mother Mary was perceptively present at her peaceful passing just as the "Hail Mary" reminds us she is.

**This led to my friend's relating his extensive efforts over decades to know more about about not only the work of my friend's own maternal uncle, Br. Augustin Lyons, who died young at 29, only ten years in the country from Ireland but who did meet Fr. Solanus Casey, but also the work of his uncle's first cousin, Fr. John Murray who died at age 62 on a golf course in West Hartford, CT, about either of whom any information would be welcome via

**To the good company of these men across generations and continents, connected in faith and in ways unbeknownst to each other at the time.

**My sympathies,
Marguerite Paul

Posted by Marguerite Paul - Dennisport, MA - friend of a friend in spirit   June 30, 2015


My dear brother, You ran the race, finished the course and now are enjoying the Face of God- right beside Sr. Francis and Clare. Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Posted by Sr. Courtney Haase, CoC - Skowhegan, ME - friend   June 30, 2015

It is with great sadness I learned of Br. James passing. I will pray and be in spirit at his funeral mass tomorrow. Br. James may you be experiencing the love and peace of Jesus!

Posted by Giles Naedler - Bronx, NY - fellow Franciscan   June 30, 2015