Father McLaughlin holds a doctorate in canon law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Tyler in 1997. He recently served as vicar general of the diocese and president of Bishop Gorman Catholic School. He previously had been rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler, judicial vicar of the diocese, judge of the diocesan tribunal and defender of the bond.
Father McLaughlin has also served as pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in Malakoff, Texas, and St. Joseph Parish in Marshall, Texas. He was a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Texarkana, Texas, St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Atlanta, Texas, and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Jacksonville, Texas.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, Father McLaughlin returned to The Catholic University of America as assistant professor of canon law and director of the Institute on Matrimonial Tribunal Practice.