Fr. James Anthony MacLean
(Monsignor-Commodore-General) passed away Jan. 31, 2015 in Glace Bay Hospital. He was born on Feb. 19, 1918, in Bay St. Lawrence, the son of the late Captain James and Alice (Capstick) MacLean. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters, Mary Frances (Peter) Cooke, Alice (Alex) Cooke, Ingonish; Sr. James Marie, CSM; Evelyn Rita; Mary Evelyn (Og) Walsh; his brothers, Neil, Tom, and Rev. Father Murdock (St. FX). Left to mourn are his brother-in-law, Sydney Òg`Walsh, Sydney, and many nieces and nephews.
Father Jim received his early and high school education in Bay St. Lawrence before graduating from St. Francis Xavier University in 1938. He then began studies at Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1943. From 1943-51 Fr. Jim ministered in parishes throughout the diocese including St. Theresa`s, Sydney; St. Peter`s, Cheticamp; St. George`s, Georgeville; and Holy Cross Church, Pomquet. He enlisted in the Navy in 1951, served in the Korean conflict and retired from the Armed Services in 1975 with the rank of Commodore-General. His duties included being lowered to ships from helicopters as he continued with God`s work. He served on many ships including the Magnificent, where he sailed to many ports all over the world. He was proud to be an honorary member of the Cape Breton Retired Naval Veterans. Fr. Jim became a Monsignor (Pope Paul VI) in April 1970. From 1975, Fr. Jim`s pastoral appointments in the Diocese of Antigonish included St. Margaret`s, Grand Mira, and St. Mary`s Polish Church, Whitney Pier. After retiring in 1989 he assisted at St. Peter`s Church, Ingonish, and St. Anne`s, Glace Bay. He also provided Christian services wherever needed and celebrated mass at the Cove Guest Home in Sydney. His friendship was a gift treasured by all. He died with the titles Commodore-General, Chaplain of the Forces, and Monsignor but was very happy to be called `Father Jim.`
Funeral mass was celebrated Thursday, Feb. 5 in St. Theresa`s Church, Sydney, with interment at a later date from St. Margaret`s Church, Bay St. Lawrence.
In memory of Father Jim, one can provide an act of kindness to a friend, relative, neighbor, stranger, or someone in need.