Msgr. McLoughlin Dies at Age 84
May 18, 2023
HUNTLEY—Msgr. James W. McLoughlin died on Saturday, May 13, 2023 in Huntley, where he was a resident. He was 84 years of age.
Msgr. McLoughlin was born on November 19, 1939, in Chicago, to James J. McLoughlin and Loretta J. McCarthy. He attended Quigley High School Seminary, Chicago (1953-1957), and Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa (1957-61) where he received a bachelor’s degree in history. He then attended seminary at Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (1961-65) where he received his theological formation. He also received a master’s degree in religious education at the Catholic University of America. 
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Loras T. Lane at St. James Parish, Rockford, on May 29, 1965. Msgr. McLoughlin’s first assignment was in 1965 as parochial vicar at St. Therese of Jesus Parish, Aurora (1965-1966). In 1966 he was appointed parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Elgin (1966-1969). Later that same year he was appointed director of the Religious Education Office for the Diocese of Rockford (1969-1976). He was then appointed pastor at St. Michael Parish in Galena (1976-1983); and was later assigned as pastor of St. Peter Parish, Geneva (1983-1997). 
A life-changing experience occurred during Msgr. McLoughlin’s service as pastor in Geneva. He, along two other diocesan priests, Msgr. Thomas Dempsey and Msgr. William McDonnell, was part of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land when on June 14, 1985, on the return flight home from the pilgrimage, the TWA flight 847 was hijacked by Shiite terrorists. While many of the 190 passengers aboard were released in the first few days, Msgr. McLoughlin and Msgr. Dempsey were among 39 Americans, many from the Rockford Diocese, held hostage by Amal Militia in Beirut for 17 days. After being released, Msgr. McLoughlin said of the ordeal, “It’s not that we can’t be angry, but to forgive is an appropriate Gospel message at this time.” The entire issue of the July 12, 1985 issue of The Observer was devoted to the homecoming celebration of the hostages and those on Flight 847 throughout the Rockford Diocese. 
While at the Geneva parish, Msgr. McLoughlin was invested into the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Following his Geneva pastorate, Msgr. McLoughlin was assigned pastor of St. Mary Parish, Woodstock (1997-2007). He was assigned pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Hartland (2001-2007). On January 24, 2003, he received the Papal Honor of Chaplain of the Holy Father giving him the title Monsignor. He was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Richmond (2007-2011) and retired there from active ministry on July 1, 2011. In his retirement, Msgr. McLoughlin assisted the poor in the Carribbean nations through Food for the Poor.
During his long priesthood, Msgr. McLoughlin served as director of religious education for the diocese, assisted with Marriage Encounter weekends, helped to redevelop Hispanic ministry in Woodstock, served on the Priests Personnel Board, was a parish priest consultor and served as dean of the McHenry Deanery where he helped reestablish a ministry to inmates in the McHenry County jail.
He is predeceased by his parents James and Loretta (McCarthy) McLoughlin, by his great nephew Nicholas Lovett and brother-in-law Casey Persak. 
He is survived by his sisters Burian Persak, Marianne Lovett, Kathleen (Robert) Smith and by his brothers Dennis McLoughlin (Vanice) and John (Elizabeth) McLoughlin and by many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. 
A visitation and funeral Mass was celebrated on Thursday, May 18th at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary Parish, 10307 Dundee Road, Huntley. Burial is in Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville. 
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