In Remembrance
AFFIRMING AN INCLUSIVE PRIESTHOOD, ROOTED IN A REFORMED AND RENEWED CHURCH

McHugh, John

11/28/98
Corpus Christi, TX
If there is such a thing as a happy death, John had it, surrounded as he was by love, not just at the time of his last breath but for the last few months when he knew he was dying. The day of his death Fr. Seamus McGowan came and had a bedside Mass. Seamus himself had just endured his third triple bypass surgery and a heart attack. He had to sit down on the bed, next to John, for the whole thing. Present were John's wonderful wife, Delfina, Theresa, Patrick, John's mother-in-law (age 90), his next door neighbors and myself. Theresa (a valedictiorian from Incarnate Word Academy and a graduate of Notre Dame since John's death) read the Magnificat in a strong, clear voice while Patrick lit the candles. John knew what was going on.

John was born on a small farm just outside Tuam in Galway. He was the oldest of five. His father died when John was only seven, thanks to some British imprisonment. I can picture John on the farm, being always the good kid, long before he became a priest and left all that was near and dear to him to be a missionary to America. After John left the priesthood here in the Corpus Christi, Texas diocese, he had a wonderful marriage and two wonderful children. He never quit working for the Church. At the end of his life, he was teaching the classes for the permanent deacons. His funeral was attended by the bishop, thirteen priests a whole roomful of nuns and a packed Church.

He was my best friend.
Jim O'Leary

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