Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
The Reverend Kevin Michael Laughery
Pastor, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes
511 South Main Street, Troy, IL 62294
Kevin Michael Laughery was born to Donald and Margaret Laughery of Oreana, Illinois, in 1957, in Decatur, Illinois. He was baptized at Saint James Catholic Church, Decatur, in 1957, and confirmed at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Decatur, on April 30, 1967.
He attended kindergarten in the Argenta-Oreana school district and then entered the Catholic schools, graduating from the grade school of his home parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, Decatur, Illinois, in 1971, and from Decatur Saint Teresa High School in 1975.
Thereupon he began studies for the priesthood of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, entering the Diocesan Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, in fall 1975. Since the seminary was academically associated with Springfield College in Illinois, he received an Associate in Arts degree from that institution in 1977.
He continued his studies at Cardinal Glennon College in St. Louis, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1979.
In September 1979 he relocated to Rome, where he was to live for the next five and a half years. For five years (1979-1984) he lived at the seminary department of the Pontifical North American College, and also stayed briefly at the Pontifical Ukrainian College St. Josaphat (October 1984-January 1985) and the graduate department of the Pontifical North American College (January-March 1985).
He pursued studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, receiving a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1982, and a License in Canon Law degree in 1984.
He was ordained a deacon at Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, on April 22, 1982, by Terence Cardinal Cooke, Archbishop of New York. He was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, Illinois, on May 28, 1983, by the Most Reverend Victor H. Balke, Bishop of Crookston (Minnesota).
His pastoral work before priesthood ordination included census-taking in parishes of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, summers 1976-1978, and general pastoral work, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur, Illinois, summer 1981. While in Rome, he worked in the parish Santo Spirito in Sassia. In summer 1982, he served as deacon at the parish of St. Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street, London, United Kingdom, and as a chaplain to hospitals under the care of that parish.
Following ordination to the priesthood, he served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral, Springfield, summers 1983-1984, and at Christ the King, Springfield, summer 1984. He served as a presiding judge of the diocesan tribunal from 1984 to 1996, and as a presiding judge of the Court of Appeals of the Province of Chicago from 1985 to 1994. He served as administrator of St. Brigid, Liberty, and St. Thomas, Camp Point, during October and November 1985, and as administrator of Holy Trinity, Stonington, and St. Stanislaus, Macon, during January-April 1986. On February 26, 1986, he became parochial vicar of St. Agnes, Springfield, which parish he served until January 12, 1993. On that date he became administrator of St. Mary, Farmersville, and of St. Patrick, Girard. On June 15, 1993, he was appointed to a six-year term as pastor of these same two parishes. In 1996 he became instructor for Petrine cases in the Tribunal. Effective July 21, 1998, he moved from Girard and Farmersville to become pastor of the Springfield parishes of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint Patrick. Effective March 21, 2000, he left Springfield to become pastor of Auburn St. Benedict, Divernon Sacred Heart, and Waverly St. Sebastian. Effective July 1, 2005, he became interim judicial vicar of the Tribunal. Effective January 21, 2006, he assumed the pastorate of the newly-created Holy Cross Parish, formed from a merger of Auburn St. Benedict, Divernon Sacred Heart, and Pawnee St. Mary Parishes; he ceased to be pastor of Waverly St. Sebastian. Effective July 1, 2006, he was appointed judicial vicar of the Springfield Diocese, concluding this appointment on July 1, 2017. Effective July 1, 2010, he moved from Holy Cross and became pastor of the Quad Pastoral Unit of Sangamon and Morgan Counties (New Berlin, Alexander, Franklin, Waverly). Effective July 1, 2017, he became pastor of Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes.
He was active in the Catholic Esperanto movement from 1977 to 1988 and was an announcer for the Esperanto programs of Vatican Radio from 1979 to 1982.
He has been active in interfaith and ecumenical activities. He has been a member of the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association from 1985 to the present, and he served on the board of that organization from 1988 to 1993, serving as president during 1991-92. He took part in the Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago, 1993, and Salt Lake City, 2015. He returned to the board of GSIA in 1999, serving as president in 2001-02, immediate past president in 2003-04, and secretary in 2005. In 2001 he became his bishop's liaison to the Illinois Conference of Churches, and in 2002 he was appointed diocesan ecumenical officer and chair of the ecumenical officers of the Catholic dioceses of Illinois. He became interreligious officer of his diocese July 1, 2011, and served in the ecumenical and interreligious capacities until July 1, 2017. Since 2011 he has written a column, A Big Small World, for Catholic Times, the diocesan newspaper. He remained a board member of GSIA after 2005, and in 2010 he served a third term as president. He was president for a fourth and final time during 2015 and 2016.
In 1994-95 he worked on projects with Liguori Publications, writing a foreword for the American edition of With Open Arms: Catholics, Divorce, and Remarriage (1995) and editing the American edition of Faith Alive: A Study Companion to the Catechism (1995). In August 2004, he was appointed censor librorum of the Springfield Diocese; in that capacity he works with Sunday Missal Service of Quincy, Illinois, most recently writing a quarterly homily-preparation aid. From 2015 to 2017 he wrote a column for the Beliefs section of The State Journal-Register.
He was chaplain of Knights of Columbus Councils 364, Springfield, 1988-1993; 1152, Farmersville, 1993-98; 10556, Auburn, 2000-2010; 4372, New Berlin, 2010-2017. He was inducted into the diocesan chapter of the Knights of Columbus Hall of Fame in 2015. He was chaplain of the Newman Club of the University of Illinois at Springfield, 1998-2000.
His parents live in Oreana, Illinois. He has one sister, Kathleen Yates of Minneapolis, Minnesota; two brothers, Gregory of Gibson City, Illinois, and Mark of Decatur, Illinois; five nieces and two nephews.