Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home Obituaries

Fr. James R. Nunes, M.S., 64, on May 7, 2023

Father James R. Nunes, M.S., 64, a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, died May 7, 2023 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.  

He was born on April 10, 1959 in Taunton, Massachusetts.  His parents were the late Robert and Shirley (Coyle) Nunes.

He attended grammar and high school in Taunton and continued his education at Southeastern MA University, where he received a B.S. in Marketing. He entered the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Novitiate in Washington, DC on June 14, 1984.  

Father made his First Profession on July 14, 1985 and his Perpetual Profession on October 28, 1990.  He was ordained on June 8, 1991 in N. Dighton, Massachusetts. His first assignment was at Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster, MA, where he ministered for 10 years. He was then appointed to the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, NH, where he was the Director of the Shrine.  In 1996 Father was assigned as Director of Pastoral Care for Catholic Charities – Health Services AIDS Health Program for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, with part-time ministry at Holy Redeemer Parish in Freeport, Long Island, NY.  During this time, he also became a Chaplain at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Nunes was then assigned as Chaplain to the Archdiocesan Office for Chaplaincy Programs, in service to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton and the hospital in the Longwood Medical area of Boston in 2015.  In 2016, he was assigned to service at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston by the Archbishop of Boston.

Father’s health care ministry involved forming a safe and welcoming environment for clients.  In his work in Jamaica, NY, he ministered to 450 patients and provided spiritual and a sacramental care to a wide range and diverse network of religious and ethnic populations.  During this time, the trauma center became certified as a Palliative Care and Hospice Center, which he found to be a unique privilege to help people meet the end of their lives with dignity and compassion; he helped them deal with end-of-life decisions and with the emotional and spiritual aspects of life and death. Father said, “My ministry experiences have taught me that life is a gift and I’ve learned what’s important and most meaningful by ministering in these intense, beautiful and spiritual encounters.  And, more personally, I have had multiple physical health issues all my life and this makes me more aware and sensitive to the health care needs of others.  In brief, I’ve learned to eat dessert first and not dwell on the petty situations in life.  Also, I’ve helped people to celebrate and rejoice in life well lived as well as teach family members that they too can experience a peaceful and dignified death when their time comes.  Death is ultimately a transition, we believe in faith, into the merciful embrace of God”

In addition to his La Salette Community, Father Nunes, M.S., is survived by his three sisters; Amarill (Ann) V. Nunes Lopes, Doris and Louis J Silva, Debbie and Dinarte Ponte. Beloved uncle of Louise Nunes, Daniel Lopes, Ryan, and Samantha Donovan. He was predeceased by his brother, Gary Nunes. He was the brother-in-law of the late Daniel D Lopes.   

A Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Saturday May 13, 2023, at 11:00 am at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring St, North Dighton, MA.  Burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Taunton will be private. Calling hours will be at La Salette Shrine Church, 947 Park St. Attleboro, MA on Friday, May 12, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  

In lieu of flowers contributions in his memory may be made to: Pastoral Care Department - Jamaica Hospital Medical Center; Pastoral Care Department, Catholic Charities Day Treatment Center, Main Street, Freeport, NY; Spiritual Care Department at Beth Israel Deaconess hospital c/o Tia Jamir; Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 331370, West Hartford, CT 06133

Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home, North Attleboro, MA.

To sign an online guestbook, please visit www.sperry-mchoul.com.