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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Bro. JOHN T. McHUGH, A.A. (1925-2014)

Bro. JOHN T. McHUGH, A.A. (1925-2014)


Interviewer - As a young Irishman from lower Manhattan, NY, how did you come to know and eventually to enter the Assumptionists?
JT - Well, I grew up in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish on West 14th Street where I was an altar boy. I was one of eleven children and had a twin. I was the fun-loving brother! As I got older, I joined the Third Order and knew that I wanted to enter a religious community. After narrowing down my choices, I chose the Assumptionists and was interviewed by Fr. Wilfrid. I entered in 1950 and I believe that I am the only one to enter the community from that parish.


- Where did you begin your formation?
- I did my novitiate in Hyattsville, MD with Fr. Joe Richard, A. A. as my novice master. Then I went to Saugerties, NY as a student brother and learned to cook.


- Where did you go from there?
For a brief time I was at Our Lady of Guadalupe and then at Our Lady of Esperanza on West 156th Street before going to Assumption College in Worcester. There I worked as a cook for a time and then I moved on to the Print Shop. I especially loved living at Austin House, which was an off-campus residence for Assumptionists and Assumption students, many of whom I have kept in touch with over the years. I have many very happy memories from those years!


- In addition to your happy experiences of community life and your various work assignments, what did you do for fun?
- Oh, I had a wonderful friend who was also a Third Order member and a priest from New York, Fr. Tom McDonald, who taught at Fordham. He and I spent many happy summer vacations together. And then there was Bro. Robert Francis Beaulac, A. A. with whom I went out to dinner almost every Friday night. We would split the bill. He always said that I made out like a bandit!


- I understand that you were quite a gifted and accomplished portrait artist.
- That was my favorite hobby for many years. I especially loved to do mothers and children, especially young children and babies. And some of my other favorite subjects over the years at the College were 'my girls' who were work study students and worked with me either in the Print Shop or the Post Office. We had great fun together!


- Are you a sports fan?
- Yes, I am indeed. I like basketball especially, so I have been a loyal Celtics fan for a long time.


- What has been your experience at St. Francis Home?
- I have been very happy here. I enjoy being around people and there are many social opportunities going on all day. I keep 'an eye on' one fellow during the day for his family who comes to visit every night. And most of the people here have poor short term memories, so I can tell my stories over and over again and they are always new!


- As your congregation celebrates this Bicentennial Year of Fr. d'Alzon's Birth, what would you like to see in the future for the Assumptionists?
- Well, I have lived a very happy life as an Assumptionist brother, so what I would like to see is GROWTH for the future of the congregation all over the world.

- Any parting words?

- Oh yes...why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don't work...naturally!

Note: Since this interview took place, Bro. John Thomas McHugh, A.A. passed away on August 13, 2014. May he rest in peace.

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