Brother James Peterson, OFM Cap. named assistant to vicar general

BRIGHTON -- Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has announced the appointment of Brother James M. Peterson, OFM Cap. as assistant to the moderator of the curia and the vicar general for canonical affairs. Brother James will be filling the post vacated by the appointment of Father Mark O’Connell as judicial vicar of the archdiocese. His appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Brother James is a member of the Capuchins’ St. Mary Province which encompasses New England and New York. He thus comes from the same religious family as Cardinal O’Malley, but from a difference province. Nevertheless Brother James’ presence will mean that the cardinal’s familiar Capuchin habit will not be the only one in the chancery corridors.

Brother James was born Dec. 13, 1971 at Mount Kisco, N.Y., the youngest of four children of Robert and Constance (Ryder) Peterson. His sister Anne Petrie, lives in New Milford, Conn.; while Theresa Hunt lives in the family’s hometown, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and brother Robert lives in Patterson, N.Y. Brother James lives the furthest from his parents at the Capuchin Friary in Jamaica Plain.

Brother James attended public grammar, middle and high schools in Yorktown Heights and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from Alright College. In 1998 he received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law and was admitted to the bar in Pa. (1998); NJ (1998) and N.Y. (2003).

Before entering the Capuchins in 2000, he was an associate attorney in two firms in Pennsylvania practicing commercial litigation and municipal law.

Brother James began his religious formation at St. Michael Friary, Brooklyn, N.Y. and was a novice at St. Felix Monastery, Mount Calvary, Wisc. He perused theological studies at Weston School of Theology (2002-2004) obtaining a masters degree in theological studies in 2004. He then served a one-year internship in Boston’s tribunal (2004-2005).

The provincial assigned him to study canon law at The Catholic University of America (2005-2007) and upon completion of his studies and his licentiate thesis he was granted the licentiate in canon Law in May 2007.

Brother James will be assisting the archdiocese’s vicar general, Father Richard Erikson in canonical matters and will be available to offer canonical advice to those who call the Office of Canonical Affairs. When the move of the central administrative offices to the new archdiocesan pastoral center in Braintree is completed, Brother James together with the canonists at the Metropolitan Tribunal will be valuable resources for the entire administrative team and to the archdiocese at large.

On his new appointment, Brother James said “I am very pleased to return to Boston and serve the archdiocese in the Office of Canonical Affairs. I look forward to assisting the priests and people of the archdiocese in the matters and issues that come before this office.”

Brother James enjoys reading, especially American History and dabbles also in fiction. He likes movies notably those from the ’30s and ’40s. Finally, he allowed us to release this bit of information -- which depending on how things turn out over the next few weeks will surely get him non-canonical phone calls -- he’s a Yankees fan!