Archbishop James T. G. Hayes, SJ, DD
First Bishop of Cagayan de Oro



Archbishop James T. G. Hayes, SJ on Philipino stamp
THE PHILIPPINES, 2008, the 75th anniversary of Xavier University

James Thomas Gibbons Hayes, SJ, was born February 11, 1889, in New York City, New York, entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1921. Seven years later as a young parish priest of Cagayan de Oro City, in the Philippine Islands, he established San Agustin Parochial School, an elementary school for boys and girls, which grew into the present day Lourdes College. He was appointed the first bishop of the newly established diocese of Cayagan de Oro in 1933, the same year that he founded the Ateneo de Cagayan as a high school for boys. In 1958 the Ateneo gained university status and changed its name to Xavier University. Cagayan de Oro's Cathedral of Saint Augustine was originally built in 1845 by the Augustinian Friars, but was destroyed during World War II by the liberating American planes. Hayes rebuilt the church in 1946 on Gothic lines, furnishing it with 19th-century stained-glass windows donated by the Sacred Heart Sisters of New York. In 1951 the diocese was created an archdiocese and Hayes became its first archbishop. He built the archdiocesan college seminary, the San Jose de Mindanao Seminary, which opened in 1955; it was first administered by Jesuits, then by Columban priests, and now by the diocesan clergy. Archbishop Hayes retired in 1970 and died March 28, 1980.