Fr John McLoughlin, STB, SLL

Portrait of Father JohnFr John McLoughlin was born at Atherton, Lancashire in September 1963. His father, Thomas, was a native of Knock, Co Mayo, Ireland and his mother, Rose, of Irish decent, was born at Atherton. Fr John is the youngest of eight children. One of his brothers, Kevin, also serves as a priest in the Liverpool Archdiocese. His other brothers are all married except one.  Fr John’s sister, Anne,  is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St Paul, the Apostle.  And his other sister, Margaret, who was born with Down syndrome, has lived with him permanently since 2007.

Fr McLoughlin began his studies for the priesthood as a junior seminarian in 1976. Following his time at Upholland College he was sent to All Hallows College, Dublin and gained a diploma in Philosophy and a Sacred Theology Baccalaureate from the Pontifical University of Maynooth. In June 1987 he left All Hallows and took up a teaching post with the La Sainte Union Sisters at Grays Convent High School leaving in 1989 to continue his studies for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome, where he was ordained deacon in March 1991 by Archbishop Warlock. In December of that same year Archbishop Warlock ordained Fr John a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Returning to Rome after his ordination Fr John gained a Sacred Liturgy Licence from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of San Anselmo in 1992.

Father John meeting Pope Francis
Meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican in October 2013

In his time as priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool Fr McLoughlin has ministered at the Cathedral of Christ the King and as chaplain to The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, assistant in the parishes of St. Vincent de Paul, Our Lady’s and St. Joseph’s at St Helens, assistant in the parishes of St. Sylvester’s and St. Alphonsus’ at Liverpool, and parish priest to St Wilfrid’s parish at Ashton and later of the neighbouring parish of Holy Family, Platt Bridge. As well as parochial duties Fr John has had a variety of other responsibilities over the years: secretary to the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, secretary to the Department of Art & Architecture, chaplain to the Liverpool Catholic Teachers Association (CATSC), Chair of the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission, assistant to George Andrew Committee for the organisation of the living accommodation for the retired priests, member of the pilot group for Priestly Appraisal, and a member of the Board of Management of the Broughton Society.

Father John with the Plymouth Clergy Retreat Group
Fr John with the Plymouth Clergy Retreat Group enjoying a Conference break

In 2006 Archbishop Kelly appointed Fr McLoughlin Episcopal Vicar for Formation and a Trustee of the Liverpool Archdiocese bringing together for the first time under the one Vicariate ‘Continuing Development for Clergy’ and ‘Adult Faith Formation’. At the same time Fr John was also asked to assist at Altcourse Prison and appointed as chaplain to the Carmelite Monastery in Honesygreen Lane and later to the new monastery at Maryton, Allerton.  During his time in Formation Fr John also led the annual Liturgy Course for the Propaedeutic Students at the seminary of the Royal English College at Valladolid, Spain.

As well as his Diocesan responsibilities Fr McLoughlin also served as Chair of the National Conference of Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy for England and Wales during which time he led clergy residential retreats for the diocese of Plymouth, Argyll and the Isles, Lancaster as well as clergy days for the diocese of Clifton, Lancaster, Leeds, Northampton, Nottingham, and Birmingham as well as leading a number of residential retreats for the Daughters of Charity.

In 2016 Archbishop Malcolm McMahon appointed Fr John as parish priest of St Stephen’s and St Bridget’s at Warrington and in 2017 asked him also to serve on the Historic Churches Commission.