James Moneta Moyna, O.P.

James Moneta Moyna, O.P.

Born:  October 17, 1928

Professed:  August 4, 1964

Ordained:  June 4, 1970

Died:  December 2, 2005

Father James Moneta Moyna, O.P., was born in New York City on October 17, 1928, son of James Moyna and Margaret Maria McDonnell, who were born in Ireland.  He received his early education at Incarnation Grammar school and All Hallows High School in New York City, and attended Manhattan College and Cooper Union, where he received a degree in civil engineering in 1955.

Before entering the Dominican Province of St. Joseph as a Novice in 1963 at St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, OH, James Moyna worked as a civil engineer for the Department of Public Works in the City of New York for several years.  As Brother Moneta Moyna, he made his Simple Profession of Vows at St. Joseph Priory in 1964 and his Solemn Profession in 1969 at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.  He was ordained to the Priesthood at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington on June 4, 1970.

Throughout the course of his priestly ministry, Father Moyna served in a wide variety of apostolates, including St. Stephen’s Priory in Dover, MA, where he conducted retreats, taught at St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, CT, and was Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in Manchester, NH. Later, Father Moyna was chaplain for the Dominican Sisters in Amityville, NY, and for St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.

Beginning in 1977, Father Moyna entered into a very successful ministry as a parochial assistant in several diocesan parishes, including St. Raymond’s in East Rockaway, NY, Mary, Help of Christians in Woodside, NY, and finally St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hempstead, Long Island, where he spent the last five years of his life.  In all of these parochial settings, he attracted a large number of deeply devoted followers and led many pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady in Medjugorje. His preaching was particularly effective and well-received.  Father Moyna was everywhere a strong and articulate advocate for life at all its stages.

The extent of Father Moyna’s impact on God’s people was nowhere more evident than at his wake and funeral which were held at the parish in West Hempstead with the special permission of the Provincial.  At the Office of the Dead, his Dominican Brothers were joined by a large number of the faithful.  At the Mass of Christian Burial V. Rev. Raymond Daley, O.P., was the celebrant. There were also over thirty concelebrants, priests from all over the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, in addition to a large number of Dominicans.  The crowded Church of St. Thomas the Apostle was also a silent tribute to the esteem in which Father Moyna was held by the people whom he had served so faithfully.

Father James Moneta Moyna, O.P., was buried with his Dominican Brothers in the Dominican Friars’ section of All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville, N.Y.