Deacon Jim was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, graduating from St. Catherine of Sienna Parish School and Toledo Central Catholic High School. He earned BA and MA degrees in Economics at the University of Toledo. In 1970, he came to East Lansing to work on a doctorate in Economics at MSU. That same year, he joined St. John Church and Student Center. He began working for the State of Michigan in 1972, serving in three major state departments doing budget, financial management and public policy work in human services and environmental programs. He retired from state government in early 2015. Jim is now serving as the Director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Lansing.
Deacon Jim married his wife Karen at St. John August 18, 1973, with Fr. Tom McDevitt presiding. In 1976, Jim and Karen joined St. Thomas Aquinas (STA) Parish following the birth of their first child. He and Karen have four grown children who are alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas School and Lansing Catholic High School. Deacon Jim was ordained on May 16, 2009, earning an MA degree in Theology along the way. He has used his musical talents both in liturgies at SJCSC and at STA and in community ensembles. His wife Karen taught Religion in the middle school at STA School for 19 years, retiring in June 2015. Deacon Jim and Karen serve in several ares of ministry, including on the RCIA Team and the Adult Faith Formation Team and in Marriage Ministry including marriage preparation for engaged couples.