The Archdiocese of Perth rejoices as its two newest Monsignori get their sashes.
The investiture of the Archdiocese of Perth’s two newest Monsignors, Kevin Long and Brian O’Loughlin, was an ecumenical occasion as Archbishop Barry Hickey presided at Solemn Vespers on May 17 at the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel within the Catholic Education Office, Leederville.
Fr Boutros Touma Issa of the Syrian Orthodox Church and his family, and Dr Noel Vose of the Baptist Church who represents Monsignor Long’s ecumenical work watched as Archbishop Barry Hickey presided over Evening Prayer of the Church or Vespers.
Family and friends of the new Monsignori included Mrs Clare Long, mother of Mgr Long, his brother Philip and sister-in-law Robyn, who had travelled from Melbourne and made mention that Mgr Long’s uncle is Monsignor Bryan Long of the Diocese of Sandhurst in Victoria, where he was Vicar General.
Mgr O’Loughlin’s mother, Mrs Mary Thompson, and his sister Pauline and brothers Patrick, Stephen and Mark, also attended, though his now senior brother Chris could not make it.
The Vespers were chanted by the Seminarians from St Charles Seminary, Guildford where Mgr Long is Rector, with seminary music teacher Andrew Cichy as accompanist and cantor Mark Baumgarten from the seminary.
Archbishop Hickey blessed the monsignorial sashes which were then placed on the new prelates by their respective mothers, Mrs Mary Thompson for Mgr O’Loughlin and Mrs Long for Mgr Long.
Fr Thai Vu, Vocations Director and first-year formator at St Charles Seminary, arranged for this father, a tailor, to visit the seminary to take the measurements of the two new Monsignori, for the soutanes and sashes to be made by the Sisters of the Carmelite Monastery in Saigon and to be brought to Perth on the Wednesday night. Mgr O’Loughlin acknowledged apologies from Monsignor Sean O’Shea, whose altar server he had once been and while a student at Christian Brothers College in Fremantle, he was a member of the Legion of Mary at the Stella Maris Club and assisted Monsignor in ship visitation, stating that “perhaps this was the beginning of my interest in things nautical, which has continued with my regular working holidays as Chaplain on cruise ships!”.
“Early in Holy Week, I phoned my now late cousin, Margaret Gallagher of Cottesloe, checking on the current addresses of my Gallagher and Kenny extended family members. I said I need the addresses as the Pope has appointed me a Monsignor and I am compiling the guest list. Margaret was delighted to hear the news and said so. I now thank God that I told her the reason for my phone call, as sadly Margaret died suddenly the week after Easter,” Mgr O’Loughlin said.
“I remember how proud my father, Gerard Patrick O’Loughlin was in February 1971 at the Perth Rail Terminal, saying to the station attendant, ‘That’s my son and he’s going to Adelaide to study to be a priest’. Little did I realise then, that my father would be dead six months later, dying on my mother’s birthday. He only lived to see me tonsured at St Charles Seminary in November 1970.”
Reminding seminarians what tonsure is, he said it is or was an ecclesiastical haircut whereby the bishop makes a layman a cleric.
“With what relish did Archbishop Goody perform that rite on yours truly and my fellow long-haired confreres. There was in those days, plenty of hair for him to leave an impression.”