Dr James Downey

Dr James Downey

I am Fr. James Downey OSA. I am a member of the Augustinian Order.

Like most religious orders, the Augustinian Order is divided into different geographic, usually national, regions. I belong to the Irish Province of the Order. Perhaps surprisingly, therefore, both my academic formation and my ministry have, for the most part, taken place outside of Ireland.

I possess a BA (classical languages) from University College, Dublin, a BD and STL from the Gregorian University, Rome, an LSS from the Biblical Institute, Rome and a DD from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem.

My specialization has been Biblical Studies.

In keeping with my academic formation, my main ministry has been in the academic field.

I have however maintained an involvement at the pastoral level, to the extent that it has been compatible with my main work. Apart from occasional lectures, courses, retreats, etc., I have worked for extended periods in the following countries: Nigeria, USA, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Pakistan. I have spent three different periods in Rome. These periods have been interspersed with my time in the places just mentioned. I have therefore been involved in different academic institutions.

In almost all cases my work has been seminary based. But there has always been involvement either with the local university or with foreign universities to which a particular seminary happens to be affiliated.

Thus in Rome, where I am currently based, I have been involved with the Augustinianum (Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum), the Angelicum (Pontificio Universita S. Tommaso D’Aquino), Regina Mundi (Pontificio Istituto Regina Mundi) and the Pontifical Beda College. The last mentioned is an affiliated institution, with the result that my work necessarily conforms to the educational principles of St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK and, earlier, of the University of Lampeter, Wales In Nigeria, I lectured at St. Augustine’s Seminary, Jos, where I also held administrative positions (Dean of Studies and Rector) at different times.

I lectured part-time at the University of Jos, to which St. Augustine’s is affiliated. St. Augustine’s is also affiliated to the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome.

In Kenya, I lectured at Tangaza College, Nairobi, which was affiliated to the Catholic Institute of East Africa (now The Catholic University of Eastern Africa).

In Australia, I lectured at the Yarra Theological Union, which has an association with the Melbourne College of Divinity. In Papua New Guinea, I lectured at Good Shepherd College, Banz and at the Catholic Theological Institute, Port Moresby.

In addition, I spent a four year period as President of the latter institute, which is affiliated with Divine Word University, Madang.

In the US, I gave several Summer Courses at Holy Apostles College, Cromwell, CT and spent one full academic year there, while on a Mellon Fellowship at Yale University.

I am in a sense breaking new ground by participating in the Domuni initiative. I do so partly because I have, in different places, seen the need for such a project. I like to think that Domuni will prove a godsend to many who, for one reason or another, do not have access to traditional institutions. I believe I have come into contact with many such people. Last modified: Thursday, 12 September 2013, 2:49 PM