By a Staff Reporter
Fr Ian Ilislop, OP, who had resigned as Provincial of the Dominicans in January because of increasing illness, died last week at the age of 59.
Born in Glasgow, he was educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, until he had a severe polio attack which left him crippled. Then he was taught at home, in Galloway, where his father was a distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland.
When he was a student at Edinburgh University he was received into the Catholic Church by Fr Giles Black. He joined the Dominican Order in 1937 and was ordained at Oxford in 1943. In 1945 he returned to Edinburgh to study for a doctorate in philosophy.
In I 9 4 8 he went to Hawkcsyard and was elected prior there in 1950. In 1953 he was chosen as prior at Leicester, where he was responsible for completing the building of Holy Cross church. In 1959 he went to Edinburgh again, as university chaplain and remained there until he was asked by Archbishop Scanlan to open the Catholic chaplaincy in the new University of Strathclyde in 1965. The following year he was elected Provincial of the Dominicans, and was re-elected in 1970.
Fr Bede Bailey, OP, of St Dominic's Priory, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, said on Sunday: "Fr Hislop so fulfilled his duties as Provincial that his brethren remember him as a true brother who was also their father in God.
"Fr Ian was concerned with race relations, and he en couraged a real build-up towards an indigenous West Indian Dominican province. His name had been considered for the new bishopric of St George's, Grenada, when the diocese was set up in 1956. "If his health had not been so bad he would have had a high reputation as a preacher. Solid ly based on Scripture, his style was influenced by the Church of his childhood. He had the gifts of an orator, but his chronic ill-health hindered him. "His body became unable to absorb any protein; so, in the last few years, he himself became one of the world's starving millions. He was a reminder of the Christian paradox that to lose one's life is to find it.
"He overcame the effects of his bodily weakness and grew
into a great man because of his acceptance of it in Christ. May he rest in peace. His brothers thank God for him."