Father James J. McLaughlin

Father James J. McLaughlin, 70, a retired parish priest and former teacher and military chaplain, died June 26.

Born in Philadelphia the son of the late James and the late Grace (Gallagher) McLaughlin, he attended Holy Child School, St. Helena School and Cardinal Dougherty High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

Ordained May 16, 1970, his first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Fallsington. He also served at St. Eleanor, Collegeville, and at St. Barnabas, St. Jerome and St. Matthew, all in Philadelphia.


He also taught at Roman Catholic High School, Lansdale Catholic High School and Cardinal Dougherty High School. As a U.S. Navy chaplain (1982-86) he served aboard the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

His last assignment before his 2010 retirement was as parochial vicar at Corpus Christi Parish, Lansdale.

Msgr. Charles Hagan, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Doylestown, was a lifelong friend of Father McLaughlin beginning first when they were boys at Holy Child School and later at St. Charles Seminary.

“Jim loved trains and he would come to my house just to watch the trains go by,” Msgr. Hagan said. “Later when I was studying in Rome, he would go to visit my mother. He also loved boats and at his 70th birthday many of his friends gave him model boats.

“He was a wonderful priest and he loved his priesthood,” Msgr. Hagan recalls, “and more recently in failing health he bore his illness in the spirit of the suffering Christ.”

Father McLaughlin’s funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, July 3 at 11 a.m. by Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald at Corpus Christi Church, Lansdale. Concelebrants will be Msgr. Hagan, Fathers Edward Bell, William Dooner, William McGeown and Keith Chylinski, who will be the homilist.

Father McLaughlin is survived by his sister, Eileen O’Rourke; his brothers Dennis and Thomas; and nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Philadelphia.