Rev. James R. Blantz, C.S.C. | April 25, 1932 – March 2, 2024

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. James Raymond Blantz, C.S.C., 91, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Indiana, on Saturday, March 2, 2024, after battling a short illness.

Fr. Blantz was born on April 25, 1932, in Massillon, Ohio, and is one of three children of Raymond and Katherine (Chance) Blantz, who preceded him in death.

Fr. Blantz attended elementary school at St. Joseph Parish in Massillon, Ohio, and then graduated from Central Catholic High School in Canton, Ohio, in 1950. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, he went on to Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. to earn his master’s degree in theology in 1959. He entered the Holy Cross Novitiate in South Bend, Indiana, on August 15, 1951, professed final vows on August 16, 1955, and was ordained a Holy Cross priest on June 10, 1959.

Beginning in 1960, Fr. Blantz shot films in Uganda for mission vocations, where he picked up his life-long love for magic tricks. Over the years, Fr. Blantz donated all the proceeds from his magic shows and performances at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, to the Holy Cross Foreign Missions. He moved back to the United States in 1961 where he was assigned as Chaplain for the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana. From 1963-1967, he was assigned as Assistant Pastor at St. Patrick Parish in South Bend, Indiana. In 1967, Fr. Blantz was assigned to St. Bernard Parish in Watertown, Wisconsin, where he stayed until 1971 before being assigned as Chaplain at Alexian Brothers Hospital in San Jose, California, until 1974. From 1974-1981, he was Chaplain at the Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. In 1981, he began assisting at Rancho San Antonio, in Chatsworth, California, where he served for the next twenty years. From 2001-2003, Fr. Blantz was assigned as Chaplain at LeMans Academy in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. In 2003, he moved back to California to serve as Chaplain of St. Catherine by the Sea Convent in Ventura, California and was there for the next five years. In 2008, he retired to Casa Santa Cruz in Phoenix, Arizona, until moving into Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2023.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Katherine Blantz and brother, Rev. Thomas Blantz, C.S.C.

The Funeral Mass will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Indiana. You may also join us via livestream at

Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

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