The Archdiocese of Glasgow has announced that Fr Jim Dean, parish priest of St Robert Bellarmine, Househillwood died suddenly yesterday.
Ordained as a priest at 65, Fr Dean was a social worker for over 40 years. After acting as the head of community care and criminal social work with Perth & Kinross Council, in 2009 he was ordained as a permanent deacon in Glasgow.
A year later he took early retirement and was asked to be the chaplain to John Paul Secondary School, arranging a pilgrimage to Rome after it was announced John Paul II was to be canonised.
It was during this pilgrimage that Fr Dean was asked to hear one of the pupils’ confessions. Whilst he could not hear the confession due to his faculties, the event made him consider the priesthood.
Fr Dean later spoke with Archbishop Tartaglia, who had previously asked him if he was interested in the priesthood, and he was sent to Allen Hall seminary in London.
He was ordained as a priest in 2017.
On the subject of whether he should have become a priest sooner, Fr Dean replied that ‘this is the time that God has called me.’
He was a chaplain of the Knights of St Columba and wad close to the Syro-Malabar and Salesian communities in Glasgow.
The Salesian Sisters community on Glasgow posted on Facebook said that ‘Jim was a great friend’ who supported their community and mission who often called himself their ‘unofficial’ chaplain.
Stephen Callaghan, Director of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project, said he was ‘shocked and saddened’ to learn of the Fr Dean, sudden death.
“He was Parish Priest of St Robert Bellarmine Church where AGAP is based and had always been a good supporter of our work, even before we were based in his Parish.
“He would often walk through to my office for a chat, to ask how AGAP was getting on or to share about his day. Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
“May he rest in peace.”
His funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.