Ten years later, he was living in India, up to his armpits in floodwaters and mud, helping desperate people.
It was the beginning of a life dedicated to others. James has rescued thousands of children from the slums of Kolkata, giving them a home at Udayan, an education and a pathway to employment.
Along the way, James became a priest – he is a father to his congregation as well as the many children he has rescued.
Major benefactors like Dominique Lapierre and, more recently Steve Waugh, have helped fund the home and school for nearly 50 years.
James worked with Mother Teresa and was awarded the Legion of Honour by French President François Mitterrand and has an OBE as well as other honours.
His life is a testament to choosing hope over fear, actions over words, love over indifference. James is a ripple who created a tsunami of change.