Msgr. Maloney, Pastor of Epiphany, Retires
September 22, 2002
NORMAL — Msgr. Thomas Maloney, 66, pastor of Epiphany Parish here since 1995 and long-time pastor of St. Joseph's Parish, Chenoa, retired for health reasons effective Sept. 4.
His move to senior status was announced with a series of clergy appointments this week by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.
A priest of the diocese for 35 years who has served as vicar of the Bloomington vicariate since 1974, Msgr. Maloney had recently taken a leave of absence for health reasons. He told The Catholic Post this week that because of heart ailments — Msgr. Maloney underwent a six-bypass heart surgery in 1998 after suffering his third heart attack — and arthritis it has been increasingly difficult for him to continue his priestly duties.
An farewell reception is planned at the Epiphany School gymnasium from 1 to 2 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 22.
Born in Bloomington, he attended Trinity grade and high schools. After graduating from St. Benedict's College in Atchison, Kan., he spent four years in the education field, as a teacher at Trinity High School and Corpus Christi in Galesburg, as well as principal and superintendent of Unit District No. 54 in Camp Grove, north of Peoria. He also assisted his father setting ceramic tile.
While at Camp Grove, he was invited by Father John King, pastor of St. Patrick's Parish there who also knew him from grade school years in Bloomington, to consider the priesthood. In 1962, Msgr. Maloney entered Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria by Bishop John B. Franz at St. Mary's Cathedral on May 20, 1967.
His early assignments included terms as assistant at St. Mary's Cathedral parish, Peoria; St. Patrick's Parish, Ottawa; and St. Monica's Parish, East Peoria. In 1973, he was named assistant at Epiphany, Normal, and served with Father King there for three years.
From 1976 to 1995, Msgr. Maloney served as pastor of St. Joseph's Parish, Chenoa, and its mission of St. Mary's, Lexington. In the early 1980s, he was also chaplain at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington.
His connection with Father King began another chapter in 1995 when Msgr. Maloney returned to Epiphany Parish in Normal to succeed him as pastor. During the next few years Msgr. Maloney oversaw two major building programs as the parish and school responded to growth. The school gym where Sunday's reception will take place was a part of one of those projects, dedicated in late 1999, and is one of the most spacious grade school gyms in the diocese.
Msgr. Maloney was named a prelate of honor with the title of monsignor in Jubilee Year 2000.
"The people I worked with through the years were dedicated Catholics," said Msgr. Maloney, reflecting on his priestly life. He especially thanked the volunteers at parishes and schools "who gave so much for so long."
Msgr. Maloney said he plans to reside on rural property along the Mackinaw River, and also may travel to a retirement community home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
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