Father Maher to Serve as National Media Correspondent During Pope’s U.S. Visit

September 18, 2015  |  by Michael Freedman

Father James J. Maher, C.M.

Father James J. Maher, C.M.

Father Maher also to accompany Congressman Brian Higgins to Washington, D.C.

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University, will serve as an expert correspondent for several national media outlets during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next week.

Drawing on his background as a Catholic and Vincentian priest, and scholar on social justice, Father Maher will offer commentary on The Tavis Smiley Show, which airs on PBS, the WCBS-TV (Channel 2 in New York City) news broadcast from Washington, D.C., and Telecare TV, a 24-hour Catholic news network that is available on cable systems nationwide.

Father Maher will travel to Los Angeles for a Monday afternoon taping of The Tavis Smiley Show, which will air in Buffalo Sept. 23 on WNED at 4:30 p.m. The segment is currently scheduled to run on WNET in New York City at midnight and on WETA in Washington, D.C., at midnight and 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, Father Maher will head to Washington, D.C., as a guest of Congressman Brian Higgins. He and the congressman will be at the White House when President Barack Obama welcomes His Holiness on Wednesday morning. Father Maher will be part of the WCBS-TV broadcast team from Washington later that day.

On Thursday, Father Maher will be at the Capitol for Pope Francis’ address to the joint session of Congress, before joining Congressman Higgins for a media event in his congressional office.

Father Maher will spend Friday and Saturday contributing to Telecare TV’s coverage of Pope Francis’ visits to New York and Philadelphia.

Father Maher was named Niagara University’s 26th president in 2013 after spending 23 years at St. John’s University, including three as executive vice president for mission and student services. Under his leadership, Niagara’s faculty, staff and students are actively committed to serving the people of Niagara Falls through the Levesque Institute and programs like Learn and Serve Niagara.

Father Maher pronounced his vows to the Vincentian community in May of 1989 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1990, at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in 1984, and earned master’s degrees in divinity (1989) and theology (1990) from Mary Immaculate.

In May 2004, Father Maher was granted a doctor of ministry by The Immaculate Conception Seminary and Graduate School of Theology. Father Maher focused his doctoral research on NIKE Inc. and its contracted factories in Vietnam, as well as Catholic social teaching and worker development programs.

He has attended the Harvard Management Development Program, the Stevens Institute, and the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management, and presented and published on civic engagement, Catholic education and corporate responsibility.