Services in Danville for Fr. Gaughran, 88
DANVILLE — A funeral Mass was offered at Holy Family Church here on Nov. 14 for Father John B. Gaughran, 88, a native of Westville who served for 25 years as pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Rapids City, and its mission of St. Mary’s, Hampton.
Father Gaughran, who served in the Marine Corps during World War II, died on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, at Quincy Veteran Affairs Medical Center.
The funeral Mass was celebrated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. Homilist was Father Ted Pracz, pastor of Holy Family Parish. Burial with military rites followed in Resurrection Cemetery.
Born Sept. 9, 1920, in Westville to Lawrence and Amelia (Ferpotto) Gaughran, he attended St. Mary’s School in Westville and graduated from Westville Township High School.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II and was deployed to the South Pacific, where he was stationed at Bougainville, BSI, Guam, Iwo Jima and Volcano Island.
“I made a promise to God that if He would help me through the war, I would dedicate my life to the priesthood,” Father Gaughran told The Catholic Post in 2003 as the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood approached.
He made good on that promise. Following the war, he entered the seminary and graduated from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, in 1949. He completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria on May 3, 1953, by Bishop William E. Cousins.
Father Gaughran’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Streator, where he served from 1953 to 1958. He was parochial vicar at St. Malachy’s, Rantoul, for the next six years and was appointed pastor of Annunciation BVM Parish in Eagle Township, west of Streator, in 1964.
He became pastor of St. John’s Parish, Rapids City, and St. Mary’s, Hampton, in 1973, and was granted senior priest status with the title of pastor emeritus in 1995.
Father Gaughran is survived by a sister, Loretta Gaughran Downing, and a nephew, Leon Downing, and five great-nephews.