LIM alumnus Jim Prator has been working as a full-time hospice chaplain for the past 20+ years. Early on, he worked as an engineer in both the oil and space industries. In the late 1970s, while running his retail nursery business in Picayune, Mississippi, Jim pursued a Master's degree at Loyola through LIM. He wanted to help close the gap in the typical Catholic parishioner’s understanding of the Old and New Testaments, and he completed the MRE in 1979. However, Jim was unable to fulfill his mission to teach Scripture; so, he became an active volunteer and educator in RCIA and other programs in several different Catholic parishes throughout the southern Mississippi/Louisiana area during the 1980s.
In 1990, Jim attended a hospice event with his wife, Lynne, who was a hospice volunteer at the time. Jim was enticed to become a hospice volunteer, as well; and, when the organization learned of his graduate background from LIM, he was invited to become hospice chaplain, a role he’d never imagined for himself.
Volunteer hospice work became full-time employment, which Jim continues to enjoy today at age 81. He describes this role as his best and most fulfilling career.
Jim writes, “I see people do things they never thought they could do, and they do it with great love and care for their dying loved one. It’s a great witness to God’s Spirit among us in the community, and the Spirit’s movement is not limited to the Catholic church community. I work with all kinds of people, ages, and faiths. It has been an amazing experience for me and fruitful for many of the lives I’ve touched.”