January 03, 2005

Reception set for former Bangor priest

Bangor Daily News

BANGOR - A reception for the priest who shepherded St. Mary's Catholic Church through the 1978 fire that destroyed its Cedar Street home will be held Sunday, Jan. 9, in South Portland. At the request of Bishop Richard Malone, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, the Rev. Paul Coughlin, 69, resigned in October. Coughlin's resignation followed a church investigation into his association with a man now serving a prison term for sexual abuse of a minor. Coughlin was appointed pastor of Holy Cross and St. the Evangelist churches in South Portland in 1996.

In a letter to parishioners dated Oct. 20, Coughlin thanked them for their support. He wrote that he had received nearly 600 cards, notes and telephone messages of support since he was placed on administrative leave in August.

"You, who know me, are aware of how much I love being a priest," he wrote. "I loved what I did, and I pray that this love was evident in my work with you. ... I thank you for allowing me to minister with you, as together we toiled to further God's Kingdom in the little acre that was given us to till."

The reception will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the VFW Hall in South Portland. Organizers said that parishioners from churches Coughlin served over the years are welcome to attend the event.

Posted by kshaw at January 3, 2005 07:57 AM