St. Stephen's pastor reassigned after 12 years

Priest from parish in Highland Falls takes over from Rev. Michael McLoughlin on July 1


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  • Photo by Roger Gavan Rev. Michael McLoughlin, pastor of the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr in Warwick, has received a new assignment. On July 1, he will become the administrator of St. Columba Church in Hopewell Junction.



WARWICK — In the Archdiocese of New York pastors receive a six-year term which is renewable, after an evaluation process, for another six years.

The Rev. Michael McLoughlin, pastor of the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr in Warwick has completed 12 years.

And now, he has received a new assignment, effective July 1, as administrator of St. Columba Church in Hopewell Junction.

The Rev. Jack Arlotta, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Highland Falls, will be the new administrator of St. Stephen's.

The assignment to each parish as an administrator is to allow any upcoming mergers of parishes or new assignments to be executed smoothly.

McLoughlin will offer a final Mass on Sunday, June 22, at 12:15 p.m. to be followed by a picnic on the church grounds.

After graduation from St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, McLoughlin was ordained a priest by New York's Terence Cardinal Cooke on Oct. 31,1981.

He was then assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Suffern and then St. Rita's on Staten Island.

Four years later and, as he recalls, much to his surprise, he was reassigned to St. Peter's in Rosendale, a Dutchess County parish at the most northern end of the Archdiocese of New York. He remained in that parish for five years and was then reassigned back to the metropolitan area.

From 1990 to 1995, McLoughlin was parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist in Yonkers. While there he served as temporary administrator for eight months before becoming pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Highland Falls.

In 2002, Msgr. Desmond O'Connor, then pastor of St. Stephen's, was named director of the Office of Priest Personnel for the Archdiocese. McLoughlin became the pastor of St. Stephen's in May of that year.

'I understand exactly'

March 14, 1889, edition of The Warwick Advertiser carried the following account of the transfer of the new pastor at St. Stephen's:

"Rev. John Creeden, the new priest who has taken charge of St. Stephen's Church in Warwick, was ordained eight years ago and has been as assistant at Poughkeepsie since. At a farewell meeting in the hall before he left he received several gifts from the people who had been endeared to him. The News speaks of the parting scene as very affecting, both children and older people sobbing aloud and the retiring pastor so overcome with emotion as to be unable to conclude his response."

The feeling is familiar more than 100 years later.

"I understand exactly," McLoughlin said. "It has been a joy to serve this great parish for twelve years. Thank you for all of your prayerful support, your encouragement and your love. Know that I will carry you always in my heart and in my prayers."

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