The Reverend Raymond H. Nugent who served as a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre for 45 years died on January 28, 2005. He was 72 years old.
Born on May 31, 1932 in Southampton to the late Raymond and Madlyn Sonntag Nugent, Raymond H. Nugent was a graduate of Seton Hall High School in Patchogue and Providence College in Rhode Island. He studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. He also received a Masters in Divinity from the Pastoral Institute in 1977.
Raymond Nugent was among the group of priests that were the first to be ordained in the newly created Diocese of Rockville Centre by Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg at St. Agnes Cathedral. The date was May 31, 1958, Father Nugent’s 26th birthday.
Father Nugent ‘s first assignment as an Associate Pastor of St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Sayville spanned nine years. During his time there Father Nugent oversaw the religious education program which was taught by diocesan trained lay people and supported the development of a Christmas pageant for the elementary school children. He also hosted a local Catholic program on the radio stations WALK and WRIV from 1958 to 1966.
In 1967, he was transferred to serve as an Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Manhasset. Two years later, Father Nugent was assigned at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst as an Associate Pastor. He served as the moderator for the School of Religion and also was instrumental in organizing the celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the parish in 1971.
His next assignment as an Associate Pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Wading River began in 1973 and three years later he was assigned to Our Lady of Peace Church in Lynbrook. In 1981, Father Nugent was named an Associate Pastor at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Centereach.
Father Nugent was named Pastor of the Church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Montauk in 1985. In his 12 years there he participated in many events, including the annual Blessing of the Fleet which was first held in 1956. The last five years of his pastorate there was marked by a struggle over the closure and replacement of the church building that had been deemed unsafe.
In 1997, Father Nugent transferred to St. Joseph’s Parish in Ronkokoma where he served as an Associate Pastor for two years. His last assignment was as an Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s in East Islip. He retired in 2003.
During his retirement, Father Nugent often returned to his roots in Riverhead to say Mass at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. The Nugent family was one of the original families of the Riverhead parish.
Father Nugent is survived by his sister, Joan Nugent of Cutchogue.
A wake for Father Nugent was held on Sunday, January 30 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Monday, January 31 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Riverhead.
Auxiliary Bishop Emil Wcela was the principal celebrant at a Mass of Vigil for Father Nugent on Monday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. Monsignor Daniel Hamilton was the homilist.
Bishop William Murphy presided over the Mass of Christian burial on Tuesday, February 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. Father George Michell delivered the homily.
Burial was at St. John the Evangelist Parish Cemetery in Riverhead.