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Biography of Monsignor James J. Loughnane, P.A.



Monsignor James J. Loughnane. P.A.

James Joseph Loughnane was the oldest of thirteen children born to Michael and Bridget (Cummins) Loughnane in Monivea County Galway, Ireland. His family operated a carpentry and joinery business established in 1786 that goes back at least five generations. At age five, Jim headed off for the local school, which led him to St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, County Galway and eventually to All Hallows Seminary in Dublin. He was ordained with thirty-seven classmates on June 18, 1961. Six weeks later he arrived in Los Angeles with three classmates to begin ministry in this Archdiocese, beginning at St. John the Baptist de la Salle, Granada Hills.

Fr. Jim was transferred to St. Cornelius in Long Beach. There was no Open Placement process, just a letter of appointment and one week to report for duty. In March 1971, a young and growing community emerged and he moved to St. Bonaventure, Huntington Beach. In 1975, Fr. Loughnane was transferred back to Long Beach; to St. Barnabas. In 1976, he was appointed Judge in the Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal and became a member of the Canon Law Society of America. He became the administrator of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Canoga Park in 1981 where he became the pastor, a position he held until March 1993. In June 1988, Fr. Loughnane was appointed Domestic Prelate to His Holiness Pope John Paul II and given the title Monsignor. In 1993, Cardinal Roger Mahony asked him to pastor the growing community of St. Denis, Diamond Bar, upon the retirement of the founding pastor, Fr. Donald Potthoff.  Monsignor Jim lovingly called Diamond Bar his home and did not think of retiring.  He continued to serve our parish until his passing on September 17, 2018. 

Msgr. Jim was always there for his brother priests all over the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  He took his duty seriously, loved his parishioners, and worked tirelessly for many Archdiocesan Boards and Committees.  He was the Deanery representative of the Priests’ Council, Vicar Forane (Dean) of Deanery 12, Board of Consulters, Young Adult Advisory Board, PACE (Pastor Advisory Committee on Education) and the Catholic School Board. He served as a member of the original Committee for the “Together in Mission” Annual Appeal. Msgr. Jim also worked with the San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council and other Ecumenical programs.  He was a member of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral Advisory Committee and a member of the Finance Sub-Committee for the Cathedral. He is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. For six terms he served as Chairman of the Clergy Personnel Board.  Cardinal Roger Mahony wrote “This confidence placed in you by your brother priests is the highest recognition of your many gifts and talents.” (letter to Msgr. Jim on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee, June 18, 2011)

In 2003, Msgr. Jim mirrored Cardinal Roger Mahony’s Pastor’s Leadership Award where he asked our parishioners to help identify individuals that have made a significant impact in our Community. March 2, 2019 marks our 17th Annual event. 

In November 2005, Pope Benedict XVI honored him with the title Protonotary Apostolic, the highest order of Monsignor outside of Rome.  In January 4, 2012, Msgr. Jim was appointed by Archbishop Jose Gomez as the Episcopal Vicar of the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, he held this position until September 2015.  Bishop Joseph Sartoris wrote, “that I can think of no other priest in the Archdiocese who is as widely respected and admired in the Archdiocese as is Msgr. Jim.” (letter to Msgr. Jim on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee, June 18, 2011)

From his nephew and niece, Vince and Deirdre, here in Southern California he was always a loving and fun Uncle Jim, “UJ” as they called him.  He always made the special trips to every part of the world to celebrate First Communions, Confirmations, Graduations, Marriages and all of their milestones at a moment’s notice.  “Uncle Jim” was a smart man with a very strong work ethic.  He didn’t go out of his way to be liked, he was too shy and reserved for that.  Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, took on the difficult jobs without fanfare, and people came to love him over time.  We were very fortunate to have him in our lives.  He is survived by four brothers and three sisters, their spouses, 17 nieces and nephews, and 25 grandnieces and grandnephews. 

With the hopes of accommodating the growing needs for the many ministries and organizations at St. Denis, Msgr. Jim was in the midst of realizing the building of a new parish center. The Building on Faith Campaign is near and dear to his heart and gives witness to his faith in God’s providence and the St. Denis Community’s response to the call.  Msgr. Jim’s parish family at St. Denis and the Loughnane families will miss him dearly.  We will remember him as a man, a brother priest, an uncle, and friend who humbly served Jesus, our Church, and our Archdiocese.   May God Love You Msgr. Jim. 

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