Today, Monday, September 17, 2018, the Archdiocese sent home to the Kingdom of God two of the most incredible priests in the history of this Archdiocese.
This morning, Monsignor Royale Vadakin, P.A. died. This evening, Monsignor James Loughnane, P.A. followed in death.
In all my years of service to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I can say without hesitation that these two priests were giants in their love of Jesus Christ, their commitment to the Church, and their dedication to bring about a deep renewal of the Church in our times.
Both were fearless and faithful collaborators with me in every stage of the life of our Archdiocese, and without them, we would never be where we are today.
On my way home this evening I thanked God for the gift of these two men, and prayed that now in the Kingdom of God they will intercede for each one of us.
MSGR. ROYALE VADAKIN, P.A.
Msgr. Vadakin were seminarians together at St. John's Seminary many years ago. His class was two years behind ours. But everyone knew and loved Royale. His great sense of purpose, his sense of humor, and his incredible organization skills endeared all of us to him.
We remained close friends over the years, and from afar, I noted his great commitment to social justice, workers' rights, and the ecumenical movement. He was a genuine pioneer in so many fields for the Church following Vatican II.
When I came to Los Angeles in 1985, he became one of my earliest advisers. I valued his judgment and advice over the years, and our relationship deepened month by month.
He served as a leader in so many activities of the Archdiocese that it is hard to enumerate them all. But at every level, he was a leader, one who brought people and ideas together, and who helped create a consensus among all of us.
From 2003 until 2013 he was our Vicar General. He served during those most difficult years when our Archdiocese was faced with the dreadful clergy misconduct cases. Without him, we would never have charted a course forward which emphasized the plight of the victims, and the need to guarantee the protection of all children and young people in our care.
He was the architect of so much that we did those years, and the endless hours, weeks, and months of his tenure helped us reach a global settlement and a new path forward to protect the youngest among us.
I cannot imagine trying to lead this Archdiocese without Msgr. Royale Vadakin at my side day after day.
Enormous sacrifices had to be made, and he always gave such solid and wise advice. I was lost without him.
May his incredible labors for Jesus and the Church now be given the reward of eternal light, peace, and joy in the Kingdom of God.
MSGR. JAMES LOUGHNANE, P.A.
Msgr. Jim Loughnane was another of those priest-leaders who was indefatigable in serving Jesus, the Church, and our Archdiocese. He was another one of those singular priests whose leadership abilities were easily recognized, and who gave of himself totally to the service of our Archdiocese.
He was asked often to give up a good assignment to take on one more challenging. He never refused. He was the epitome of the Good Shepherd every in the midst of his people, always leading them to the green pastures of the Kingdom of God.
I relied on him for so many purposes: pastor, dean, Episcopal Vicar, and close adviser. He was always ready and willing to accept new and challenging assignments, and carried them out with grace, wisdom, and generosity.
Even after the time for normal retirement, he continued on leading the people of St. Denis Parish in Diamond Bar, while assuming so many other duties for all of us across the San Gabriel Pastoral Region.
I often went to him for advice and counsel, and he was always so anxious to be of help.
Being always an active pastor himself, he was able to bring to the parishes of the San Gabriel Pastoral Region a genuine understanding of parish life and ministry, and he was always there for his priests and parish leaders.
I always marveled that the was so present at so many Masses, special occasions, and celebrations all across the Region.
His marvelous Irish sense of humor sustained all of us during many difficult moments in the life of our Archdiocese.
It has been difficult to begin this Monday with the death of one great giant, and to end the day with the death of yet another.
Tonight, I end my day with silence in my chapel thanking God for the gift of these two incredible gifts from God.
May their spirit and example sustain us all and encourage us to follow their footsteps for years to come!!!