Jim Grant directs Social Justice Ministry for the Diocese of Fresno, which covers 35,000 square miles and encompasses 8 large rural counties: Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern and Inyo.
Jim’s Church work began as a Salesian high school seminarian in 1962, and has never stopped. His vocation and formation brought him from Massachusetts to New Jersey to Santo Domingo and finally to the Pontifical College Josephinum where he completed his third year of theology. After leaving the Salesians, he worked in the Diocese of Worcester with the Puerto Rican community for three years. After graduating from Boston College’s Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry with a Master’s Degree in 1983, he and his wife Peggy moved to California, where he ministered in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Diocese of Santa Rosa, before moving to the Diocese of Fresno and serving as the Director of the Office of Ministries (1989-2001) and a Host/Producer at KNXT-TV, the diocesan owned and operated TV station (2001-2016).
In July, 2016 he became the Director of the one person Office of Social Justice Ministry. In that capacity, he oversees the diocesan commitments to among other things, the Catholic Legislative Network, the Bishops’ Homeless Advocacy Committee, Matthew 25 County Jail Ministry, and the Diocesan Committee for the Abolition of Human Trafficking. He serves as the diocesan liaison with Catholic Relief Services, the local PICO affiliate Faith in th Valley, and the Human Rights Coalition of the Central Valley.
Having lived and studied in East Jerusalem for a year and as Chair of the Interfaith Scholar Weekend Committee, he is very committed to interfaith dialogue and collaboration and keeps the Diocese involved with the Central Valley’s, vibrant interfaith community. While working for the diocesan TV station he hosted and produced 250+ programs featuring all the various local religious and ethnic communities.
Besides workshops on Catholic Social Teaching which he gives across the diocese, he is a founding member of the Diocesan Lay Formation Institute, and each year gives teleconference classes to English and Spanish students spread out across the expanse of the beautiful Fresno diocese.
Since 1989 he lives in Fresno with his wife Peggy, daughter Caity, and her pet dog Max and pet cat Daisy Mae (who replaced her brothers Josh and Nate who moved out and are happily married in Fresno and Santa Barbara).