Almost thirty years ago Father James S. M. Lynch received his introduction to the people of Utica as
pastor of St. John's Roman Catholic church, and with the exception of a few years when duties called him elsewhere
has ever since been identified with this city. By his genial spirit and true Christian philanthropy he has made
friends throughout his long period of service and no man in Oneida county can claim a more sincere circle of admirers.
He is a native of Albany, New York, and was born September 20, 1846, a son of Bernard and Mary (Lamb) Lynch.
He received his education at Albany Academy, under the presidency of David Murry, St. John's College, Fordham,
New York, and St. Joseph's Provincial Seminary, Troy, New York. In 1889, in recognition of his distinguished ability
as a theologian, Georgetown University conferred upon him the degree of D. D. and, in 1891, he received the honorary
degree of LL. D. from Fordliam University. In 1871-2, and again from 1875 to 1880, he was director of St. Joseph's
Seminary at Troy. He was appointed pastor of St. John's church at Utica in 1882, remaining in the city until 1887,
when he became vicar general of the diocese of Syracuse and rector of the Cathedral in that city. He continued
at Syracuse until July 1, 1891, when he resumed the pastorate of St. John's church in Utica where he has since
After returning to Utica he added to the parochial schools an academic department, which was incorporated by the
University of the State of New York under the name of the Utica Catholic Academy. This institution has a full high
school course of four years and ranks with similar schools that have been long established. On July 21, 1900, Father
Lynch was raised to the dignity of domestic prelate by Pope Leo XIII, an honor well deserved by years of efficient
and self sacrificing service.
He is regarded as one of the finest scholars of Utica. B is life has been given to study and to earnest work in
behalf of a cause in which his whole heart is interested. His realm of knowledge embraces not only the various
branches relating to the Bible and to the church, but extends through the fields of history, science, literature,
poetry and the arts. He is an eloquent speaker and is frequently invited to lecture upon religious or other topics
in Utica and in other cities in the state, and no speaker commands a closer or more respectful hearing. A faithful
follower of the church, he has been instrumental in causing many to seek peace and happiness in religion, and his
example of a simple and unaffected Christian life has been a constant incentive to higher thought on the part of
all who have had the good fortune to come into contact with him personally.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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