Monsignor James E. Mancini, 78, died Friday, August 9, 2019 in Springdale after a lengthy illness. He was born in North Little Rock on New Year’s Eve 1940, the son of Giusto “Anthony” and Annunziata “Lucy” (Franceschini) Mancini. He attended St. Patrick’s School and Our Lady of Good Counsel school before entering St. John’s Home Mission Seminary in 1954, and was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Albert Fletcher on May 28, 1966 in the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Little Rock.
His assignments included associate pastor of Immaculate Conception, Fort Smith, St. Joseph, Pine Bluff, and Our Lady of Good Counsel, Little Rock, before being named pastor of St. Anthony and St. Norbert in Weiner and Marked Tree. In 1982 he was named pastor of St. Barbara in DeQueen, and a year later assigned as pastor of Our Lady of Good Council, Little Rock. Subsequently, he became pastor of Our Lady of Fatima, Benton, St. Patrick and St. Anne, North Little Rock, St. Michael, Cherokee Village, and St. John the Baptist and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Engelberg and Walnut Ridge. In 2002 he was named pastor of St. Joseph in Tontitown and St. John the Evangelist in Huntsville. His final assignment as pastor was at St. Bernard in Bella Vista. He was also assigned as the Spiritual Director of the RENEW program which had a great impact on the entire diocese. Msgr. Mancini was a dedicated priest, a man of deep spirituality, and was very active leader in the Charismatic Renewal.
He is survived by two sisters, Rose Marie Willingham and Dorothy Harriman, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death a brother, Louis Mancini, and three sisters, Margaret Malczyski, Theresa Mancini and Josephine Bushkuhl.
A Funeral Mass was at St. Joseph’s on August 14, at 10 a.m. A second Vigil Service was conducted at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on Thursday, August 15, at 7 p.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral on Friday, August 16, at 11 a.m. Burial followed at “Priest’s Circle” in Calvary Cemetery, Little Rock.