Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Neil J. McLaughlin, O. Praem.

Birth: September 30, 1918

Death: November 30,, 1988

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Neal McLaughlin was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1918.  After graduating with the first class of Archmere graduates, and his freshman year at the college, he joined the Order in 1937.  In 1939, Neal was appointed prefect of St. Norbert High, and in 1940, transferred to Southeast Catholic to teach algebra, returning to the abbey in 1942 to take solemn vows.

Neal spent two years at his alma mater, Archmere, from 1945 to 1947, when he was transferred to teaching at the college and became master of ceremonies at the abbey, a position he held until 1962, as well as assistant master of the professed juniors. 

He was made master of the juniors in 1948 and spent much time in his armchair, closeted with individual frats, telling them of the rigors and demands of religious life, as he paged through Life magazine.  One of his contributions to the community was his frequent trips to Truax Field Supply Depot to buy size 40 pants and size 9 shoes by the case!  The shoes were J609, and often used as coffin boots!

In 1952, he was appointed sub-prior of the abbey, and prior in 1957.  With the movement to the new abbey, he was appointed master of the brothers.  From 1963 until 1972, he held the position of prior of the college priory.

In 1963, Neal received the Alpha Psi Omega award in recognition of meritorious participation in college dramatics, in 1964, the Delta Epsilon Sigma award from the National Scholastic Honor Society, and in 1966, he received an honorary M.A. degree,honoris causa, from the college.

Moving to “Sunshine Priory” in 1974, Neal was appointed chaplain of Bay Pines Veterans Hospital in Seminole, Florida .  While there, he completed studies at the University of Florida at Gainesville, and earned a diploma for “Pastoral Care of the Critical Patient’, and a graduate diploma from the University of Georgia in Atlanta for “Handling the Violent Patient.”

Returning to the abbey in 1982, Neal took on the chaplaincy at the Brown County Home and was director of retirees and the infirm at the abbey until 1986.  He died on Wednesday, November 30th, 1988 at the age of 70.

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