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Msgr. Hadden Retires as Vicar for African Ancestry Ministry

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Reverend Monsignor Thomas P. Hadden, 82, has retired from active ministry in the Diocese of Raleigh. Msgr. Hadden, who retired as Pastor in 2000, after serving at St. Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington, continued as Vicar for African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization (AAMEN), a position he held since 1988.

Msgr. Hadden was honored at a luncheon hosted by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, attended by Diocesan staff and AAMEN staff. In his remarks, Bishop Burbidge expressed his gratitude to Msgr. Hadden, who was ordained to the Priesthood in 1959, while attending the North American College in Rome. 

“Thank you Monsignor Hadden for the countless ways you have served this diocese and for the generous priestly service you have offered, most especially in your position as Vicar for African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization,” Bishop Burbidge said. “You have inspired the people and communities you have served and have been a powerful instrument in promoting healing and unity throughout our Diocese. We continue to benefit greatly by your priestly example and wish you much happiness and peace at this special time in your life.”

Msgr. Hadden will be featured on this coming week’s Diocesan radio and television programs. Catholic Weekly, the radio program can be heard on WDNC AM-60 in the Triangle area, Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. The program will air on WBPL 92.7 FM, Wilmington, Sunday, 3:30 p.m. It will be posted to the Diocesan website on Monday, August 29.

In addition to its normal broadcast schedule on Time-Warner cable stations in the Diocese, Catholic Perspective, the weekly TV program, will also be posted to the Diocesan website on Monday along with two half-hour programs recorded several years ago, in which Msgr. Hadden discusses his five-decade long ministry as a Priest, detailing several of the challenges he faced as the first African-American priest ordained in North Carolina.

Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge congratulating Msgr. Thomas P. Hadden on his retirement. Father Marcos Leon, V. F.,  Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Whiteville and Dean of the Cape Fear Deanery is on the left.