Congratulations, Christchurch North Parish Priest and diocesan Vicar-General Rick Loughnan, who has been honoured by Pope Francis with the title Monsignor.
Bishop of Christchurch Michael Gielen has announced the honour with this message: "It is with joy I announce that Fr Rick Loughnan has been honoured by his Holiness Pope Francis with the title of Monsignor, which designates him as a Chaplain of the Holy Father. This honour has been bestowed upon Monsignor Rick in recognition of his many years of faithful and humble service to both the local and national Church. I join with you in congratulating Monsignor Rick and his family on this special occasion."
In a story on this honour, NZ Catholic says the title dates back to the 14th century and is given to a priest who has distinguished himself by many years of exceptional service to the Church. It would not affect Fr Loughnan’s duties or ministerial assignment.
In 2016, after Bishop Barry Jones died, Fr Loughnan was elected the administrator of the diocese by the College of Consultors.
He managed the diocese for about two years until Pope Francis appointed Paul Martin SM as Bishop of Christchurch at the end of 2017. Archbishop Martin is now Archbishop of Wellington.
Monsignor Loughnan is Vicar-General of Christchurch and the parish priest of the Catholic Parish of Christchurch North which is comprised of the former parishes of Bryndwr, Burnside and Papanui.