Father Jim Fitzmaurice
Father Jim Fitzmaurice
Father James T. Fitzmaurice, 73, died Aug. 29. Father Fitzmaurice was the son of the late James E. Fitzmaurice and Mary Fitzmaurice (Jones) of Albany; brother of Margaret Pisani (Ronald) and Eileen Bridegroom (Fitzmaurice); uncle to Aaron Pisani (Zoe), Andrea Pisani, Ryan Bridegroom (Kerri), Katherine L’Etoile (Matthew) and Ian Bridegroom (Ashley Weaver); and great uncle to Clara, Delaney, Thomas and Sylvia.

Father Fitzmaurice graduated from Cardinal McCloskey Memorial High School in 1967. He went on to Siena College, where he graduated with a degree in philosophy. Father Fitzmaurice was a devoted educator, having taught at Xaverian Brothers High School in Boston, Mass., before returning home to Albany to teach at his alma mater, now renamed Bishop Maginn High School.

In April of 1984, Father Fitzmaurice was ordained into the Order of Friars Minor. After serving as a Franciscan for 13 years, Father Fitzmaurice left the Franciscan order and was accepted into the ordinary of the Diocese of Albany. In 1998, Father Fitzmaurice was assigned to Johnstown, serving the three parishes of St. Anthony’s, St. Patrick’s and The Immaculate Conception. In 2007, Father Fitzmaurice returned to Albany where many of his family and friends resided. He served as pastor of Christ the King Church in Guilderland for 15 years, before retiring in December 2021.

Father Fitzmaurice had a deep love for his two dogs, Wilson and Seamus, both of whom have passed on before him. The Evangelist wrote about Father Fitzmaurice and Seamus in a 2018 article in which Father Fitzmaurice said at the time, “It’s nice to have him around the house and have someone greet you at the end of the day. I can tell him about my problems and he’s a good listener.”

Father Fitzmaurice was a loyal Yankee fan, never missed a game and told The Evangelist in 2017 his favorite player was Derek Jeter “because of his baseball talent. But, also, as everyone says, he is just an overall good man with no outsized ego. He seems to be a great representative for professional sports.” As for the connection between baseball and religion, the priest joked at the time, “I pray a lot when I watch the Yankees!”

His overall love for the game of baseball was chronicled in the same Evangelist article, as Father Fitzmaurice was closing in on his baseball dream of visiting every one of the 30 major-league stadiums.

He enjoyed spending time in both Cape Cod and the Adirondacks. Above all, Father Fitzmaurice loved his family. He was a caring man and a wonderful pastor.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Sept. 2 at Christ the King Church, followed by the Rite of Committal at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.