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Msgr. James K. Vaughey
Msgr. James K. Vaughey

Msgr. James K. Vaughey, who served in leadership roles at the archdiocesan level and also was a longtime pastor during his 52 years of priesthood, died Dec. 3 at the Edward Cardinal Egan Pavilion for retired clergy in the Bronx. He was 80.

Cardinal Dolan was to offer the Funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church in Briarcliff Manor Thursday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m.

Msgr. Vaughey had served as pastor of St. Theresa’s from 1993 until his retirement in 2012.

Msgr. Peter Finn, pastor of Blessed Sacrament and regional dean of Staten Island, was to be the homilist.

“Jim was a unique man, wonderful priest and a very very dear friend,” Msgr. Finn, a classmate of Msgr. Vaughey’s at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, told CNY.

“I think he was an ordinary guy motivated by the call of God, and gave 100 percent in serving Jesus and his people, and did it with great love and great devotion.”

Msgr. Vaughey served in the archdiocese’s Department of Education as associate secretary, 1976-1981, and comptroller of finance, 1981-1992.

In 1990, he was named executive director of the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Calvary and Allied Cemeteries, a post he also would hold until his retirement.

After a sabbatical at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., and sick leave for two hip replacements, Msgr. Vaughey was appointed administrator at St. Theresa in August 1993, and he was named pastor three months later.

Msgr. Dennis Keane, pastor of Holy Family parish in New Rochelle and the current executive director of the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Calvary and Allied Cemeteries, knew Msgr. Vaughey for more than 45 years.

“He held so many responsible positions and he was so gentle and kind in dealing with individuals. He was so helpful and gave me guidance in how to handle the position (with the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral),” Msgr. Keane told CNY.

“He had a great sense of humor and took great pride in being a graduate of Notre Dame.”

Msgr. Finn remembered a visit with Msgr. Vaughey and their seminary classmates in May to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of their ordination by Cardinal Francis Spellman at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The group celebrated Mass and enjoyed a luncheon at John Cardinal O’Connor Pavilion in the Bronx.

“He was a very dedicated person with a great sense of humor. He was someone whom I respected very much,” Msgr. Finn said.

Msgr. Finn said Msgr. Vaughey and their seminary classmates often vacationed together, visiting Italy, France and Spain as well as Florida. The vacations offered spiritual renewal as well as opportunities for rounds of golf. “He was a very good golfer,’’ Msgr. Finn said.

Born in Evanston, Ill., Msgr. Vaughey earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and master’s degrees in religious education from Manhattan College and education administration from New York University. He studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie and was ordained in 1965. He was named a monsignor in 1990.

Msgr. Vaughey was a teacher and later administrative assistant to the principal at Cardinal Hayes High School, the Bronx, 1967-1976. He served as parochial vicar at St. Mary of the Assumption, Staten Island, 1965-1967, and St. Catherine Laboure, Lake Katrine, 1965. He was a weekend associate at St. John the Baptist, Yonkers, 1982-1992, and St. Theresa, the Bronx, 1967-1982.

Burial followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne.

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