YEAR JOINED MKLM: 1983
COUNTRY: Hong Kong, United States and Thailand
FOCUS: Education and Civil and Human Rights
Jim was born in Janesville on August 21, 1937, the son of John and Eleanor (Schulz) Campion. Jim served in the US Army and went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from UW Milwaukee. Jim was the editor for the New Berlin Newspaper for many years and was a member of the Diversity Action Team of Rock County. He served with PAVLA, the Papal Volunteers for Latin American. Jim joined Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1983. Before joining MKLM he resided in Madison, WI, where he was active in St. Mary’s Parish, Diocese of Madison. He graduated from Maryknoll Seminary in N.Y.
Jim’s initial three-year commitment as a lay missioner was in Hong Kong. In 1986 he returned to the U.S. to assist in administrative responsibilities. In 1993 he returned overseas and stayed there until he retired in 2009.
Jim lived and worked out of Thailand helping the Burmese News Internews (BNI) collect and distribute news. BNI was started in 2003 by nine independent media groups exiled from Burma living in India and Bangladesh. Previous to that they provided separate dispatches by e-mail to their own exiled communities. Presently they have developed a multilingual website. Four exiled groups in Thailand have joined their efforts. Their stated aim is to facilitate cooperation and coordination of exiled media groups in information exchange, mutual development and promotion of freedom of the press.
The project provided a rare opportunity for professionally trained journalists from traditionally independent tribal groups to collaborate and assist one another in getting and communicating accurate information (some for human rights reporting , others for the BBC and other media). The journalists include Christians (mostly Baptists and Catholics), Buddhists, and Muslims engaged in inter-religious dialogue and encouraging collaboration. Jim’s extensive experience as a journalist was an invaluable contribution to this local effort. He served as editor for the project.
Jim retired to Wisconsin in 2009 near his family. He passed away at the age of 80, on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Mercy Hospital. Memorial donations, at the request of the family, can be made to Maryknoll Lay Missioners.