Rev. James J. McGlinchey died peacefully at Montereau in Tulsa, OK on May 22, 2020. Fr. McGlinchey was born on March 7, 1927 in Philadelphia, PA to Patrick and Mary (Flynn) McGlinchey. He grew up in Philadelphia and attended St. Barnabas School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School. He served in the U.S. Army from June 1945 to December 1946. He then attended Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary in Emmittsburg, MD and graduated from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He later received a Master's degree in Social Work from St. Louis University.
Fr. McGlinchey was ordained a Catholic priest on May 10, 1956 and faithfully served the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and later the Diocese of Tulsa for 63 years. During that time, he served as associate pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Oklahoma City and was a faculty member at Bishop McGuiness High School and St. Francis de Sales Seminary. He was appointed Director of Catholic Social Services and is remembered by many for his involvement with refugee resettlement, adoptions and marriage encounter. He had pastoral assignments at St. Augustine and St. Francis Xavier Parishes in Tulsa, St. Brigid Parish in Tahlequah and St. Therese Parish in Collinsville. He also served as administrator of St. Cecilia Parish and as chaplain at the University of Tulsa Campus Ministry. As a retired priest, Fr. McGlinchey was chaplain at Franciscan Villa and later assisted at St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Christ the King Parishes.
In early 2013, he accepted the position as chaplain at Montereau and began faithfully and tirelessly serving the community there. He made new friends, renewed old friendships and walked many miles in the hallways at Montereau ministering to "his people". In his final months and days, Fr. McGlinchey was then himself compassionately and lovingly cared for by staff at Montereau Villa and Chateau 1N and aided by St. Francis Hospice.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John, and his sisters Mary, Rose (Shirk) and Ann (Sullivan). Also joining "the great majority" before him were his dear friends Fr. Dave Monahan, Fr. J. Paul Donovan and Fr. Tom McSherry. With an ever-present glint in his eye and a cheerful Irish chuckle, Fr. McGlinchey loved to tell stories about his family and growing up on Reedland Street in Philadelphia. He shared birthday dinners and renowned golfing trips to Ireland with Fr. Monahan. Fr Donovan and he were common thinkers in politics, racial and social justice philosophy, including their march at Selma, AL. And then there was his special Irish friendship with deep theology discussions and delicious dinners with Fr. McSherry.
He is survived by his 10 nieces and nephews and their families from Philadelphia/South Jersey area: Susan Jordan, Mary Jane Shanahan, Nancy Shirk, Jim Shirk, Tim Shirk, Jim Sullivan, Barbara Hetherington, Pat Loewe, Theresa Roselli, and Jane Hill.
Fr. McGlinchey will also be remembered fondly by many for his friendship, humor, wise counsel and especially his thoughtful liturgies and homilies. He has a legion of dear friends he has made over the years who consider him like family. There may be no better description of Fr. McGlinchey than what Fr. Monahan wrote about him in a 1976 article in the Sooner Catholic: "Behind the corduroy exterior is an Irish heart with a low melting point which softens in proportion to the problems of the person on the other side."
The Vigil Service will be at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish at 4001 E. 101 St. in Tulsa, OK. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020 at St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Tulsa. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, social distancing and masks are strongly recommended.
Kennedy Midtown Funeral and Cremation Services in Tulsa is handling funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, Fr. McGlinchey requested that any donations be made to Catholic Charities of Tulsa, the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless or San Miguel School of Tulsa.