1893 – 1920 (October 6)
John Hughes, son of Stephen Hughes, a mill operative, and Mary Ellen Herron, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1893. He was baptized two days later at St. Mary’s Church in that city, by Father Alfred Valiquette, O.S.A. After completing studies at local schools, John attended Villanova College’s Preparatory School, and entered the novitiate on June 22, 1911. He professed simple vows on the same day in 1912, and on September 17th of that year traveled to Italy with 9 other friars to pursue studies.
John returned to Villanova in June, 1915, professed solemn vows on June 25th and, in quick succession, in June and July, received tonsure, minor orders and was ordained to the subdiaconate. He was ordained deacon on May 26, 1916, and priest on the same date in 1917 in the Philadelphia Cathedral by Archbishop Edmond Prendergast.
Father Hughes was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Greenwich, New York, where he passed away on October 6, 1920, as a result of Addison’s disease, from which he had suffered for several years. He was 26 years old. Ironically, several months earlier he had written to Father Thomas Roland at St. Rita Parish in Philadelphia, stating, “The rumor about my illness was unfounded … I am still wearing the marks of my operation in Philadelphia … Personally, I feel quite well and am ‘on the job’ every day.”
Father Hughes’ funeral Mass was offered in Greenwich, new York, after which burial took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence, Massachusetts.