“Father Jim” Msgr. James Innocenzi, who Served as Trenton Fire Department’s Chaplain Passes Away at 72

January 13, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–It was announced today that Msgr. James Innocenzi passed earlier today at his residence at Villa Vianney in Lawrenceville, NJ at the age of 72.

Msgr. Innocenzi served as Trenton Fire Department’s Chaplain, known as “Father Jim” at calls and around the fire house. He served in the position for many years and would be seen in turnout gear at many calls throughout the city.

According to Trenton Fire Department records held at Trenton Fire Department’s Meredith Havens Fire Museum “Father Jim” became Chaplain in 1983 and served well past 2006 when the last published annual report was issued. According to some senior members at the TFD it is believed he was still Chaplain as of 2022 and that would be nearly 40 years of service to the department.

See MidJersey.News file photos below:

From the Trenton Monitor:

Bishop announces death of Msgr. James Innocenzi

It is my sad responsibility to share the news of the sudden passing of Msgr. James Innocenzi earlier today in his residence at Villa Vianney in Lawrenceville.  He was 72 years old.

Born and raised in Trenton, Msgr. Innocenzi was a member of St. Joachim Parish.  He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Trenton in 1976 and served in a variety of parochial and diocesan positions, currently as Judicial Vicar (head of the Diocesan Tribunal).  Msgr. Innocenzi was the first pastor of St, Michael Parish in Trenton and one month ago attended the 100th anniversary of the Church building.  His next assignment was to serve as St. George Parish in Titusville.  In 1997, Pope St. John Paul II honored him with the title of Monsignor, Prelate of Honor.

Throughout his priestly career, Msgr. Innocenzi remained deeply devoted to his work in the Diocesan Tribunal, serving couples seeking annulments as well as dealing with other matters in canon law.  He was a chaplain for Trenton’s Fire Department and also a beloved chaplain and spiritual advisor for several divisions and councils of central New Jersey’s Knights of Columbus.

Msgr. Innocenzi’s sudden death saddens so many of his brother priests, dearest friends and co-workers and former parishioners.  One priest wrote me, “this news hurts my heart.”  And so it does, indeed, for those of us in the Diocese who knew, admired and loved him. 

May our loving God grant him eternal rest.