Alex Previtera, Special to The Catholic Virginian

Father James Kauffmann spent his entire life in the Diocese of Richmond. He was born in Richmond and educated at Star of the Sea Elementary School in Virginia Beach and Norfolk Catholic High School in Norfolk. After graduation from William & Mary, Father Kauffmann attended seminary at the North American College in Rome prior to being ordained a priest in 1976.

For 40 years, Father Kauffmann faithfully served at six parishes within the Diocese of Richmond. His final assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Bede, Williamsburg, where he served until his passing this past June.

In the 1980s, Father Kauffmann had the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome from which he graduated in 1990 with a licentiate in Sacred Scripture. While there, he studied for a semester at Ecole Biblique and the French School of Archaeology in Jerusalem.

This opportunity inspired him to learn more about early Christian origins in the Middle East and Christian-Islamic relations. His post-graduate studies also led him to study Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic (the language spoken by Christ) and Coptic, which was the ancient language of the Egyptian Christian Church.

His passion for ministry and for learning about the origins and languages of early Christianity led him to establish the James F. Kauffmann Scholarship Fund in late 2016.

Its purpose is to enable pastors and seminarians to pursue continuing studies in Christian origins. Preference is given to those intending to study Syriac or Christian Arabic. Through this scholarship fund, Father Kauffmann continued his legacy of faithful generosity and ministry to the Catholic Church.

Father Kauffmann is one of many pastors and lay people who have created opportunities for the future Church by making an estate provision. Such a provision can be made for a parish, Catholic school or diocesan ministry. It is easy and can have a transformative impact.

To learn more about creating a legacy gift for the benefit of the Catholic Church, contact Maggie F. Keenan, director of planned giving for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond, at (804) 622-5221 or mkeenan@richmonddiocese.org. Alex Previtera, a certified fund raising executive, is director of development and operations for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond.

Alex Previtera, a certified fund raising executive, is director of development and operations for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond.