Death silences Sydney radio priest
Parish priest and former media personality Fr Jim McLaren died in Sydney on Friday at the age of 70 following a battle with cancer.
'Father Jim' was most influential as presenter of the Sunday night radio program Sounds of Silence, broadcast until 1984 on 2UW (now MIX-FM). He was also a member of the Catholic Communications team for many years, and a board director and presenter on the then Catholic Church-owned radio station 2SM.
Most recently parish priest of Summer Hill in Sydney's inner west, Fr McLaren was ordained in 1955 and served as assistant priest in various parishes. He began his media career in 1968 with the production of audio 'thinkpieces' on popular music that were syndicated to radio stations around the country. He commenced his long-running 2UW Sunday night program in 1970.
A tribute to Fr McLaren on the Archdiocesan website says his thinkpieces pioneered the use of modern music to communicate a religious message. It recalls that many experienced radio personnel gave them high praise.
His professionalism as a broadcaster is indicated by 2UW's decision to use Fr McLaren as a stand-in several times for John Laws, the country's most famous radio personality.