1891 – 1970 (July 2)
James P. Brice, son of Michael Brice and Bridget McNelis, was born in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, on June 19, 1891. He entered the novitate at Villanova on June 22, 1911, and professed vows on June 22, 1912. He was solemnly professed on June 25, 1915. Following theological studies in both Villanova and Rome, Italy, he was ordained on May 27, 1917, in the Philadelphia Cathedral.
In 1917, Father Brice was assigned to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. In 1918 he was transferred to Saint Rita Parish in Chicago, Illinois, and in 1926 to Saint Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan. Father Brice became an associate pastor at Saint Augustine Parish, Philadelphia, in 1929, and served the province as a definitor from 1935 to 1938. He was appointed prior and pastor at Saint Thomas Parish, Rosemont, Pa., from 1938 to 1941, when he then returned to Saint Augustine Parish, Philadelphia. In 1950 he was chosen prior of the Saint Augustine community.
From 1956 to 1959 Father Brice was prior and pastor at Saint John's Parish in Schaghticoke, N.Y. In 1959 he was assigned to Saint Rita in Philadelphia as an assistant pastor. In 1965 he returned to Saint Augustine's once more where he remained until his death.
Father Brice was a musical composer who studied under Maestro Cesare Dobici while in Viterbo, Italy, as well as under Frank O’Brien, organist and choirmaster at the Gesu in Philadelphia. Among his original compositions are three versions of the Tantum Ergo, a hymn to Saint Rita in honor of her canonization, a hymn to Mary Immaculate and a Requiem for three voices, dedicated to his classmate, Father Joseph Miccheloni, O.S.A., who was killed during the First World War.
Father Brice was 79 when he died on Thursday, July 2, 1970, after a long illness. Following his Funeral Mass at Saint Augustine Church in Philadelphia, he was buried in the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery, in West Conshohocken. Pa.