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Henry McHugh


Father Henry McHugh, click to enlarge

Father Henry McHugh, click to enlarge 

Educated for the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Henry McHugh, a twentieth-century representative of the ancient McHugh family of Ireland, has ever since his ordination in 1868 faithfully and efficiently served the church of his choice in Western Pennsylvania.  Monuments to his untiring energy, faith, and devotion are to be found in every parish he has served in the form of church edifices, schools and school buildings, convents and chapels, as well as in the spiritual growth of the people he has served. 

Seventy-eight years have passed over his devoted head and the term "father" is no less one of respect for his holy calling, than one of affection given him alike by Catholic and Protestant.  Cultured, pious, and enthusiastic, he has served his communities well, not alone as minister of the gospel and spiritual leader, but as citizen, friend, and neighbor, he has shown the broadness of his nature and the depth of his love for his fellowman.  "Father" McHugh is a great-grandson of Patrick McHugh, who married a Miss McManus and with her lived and died in County Fermanagh, Ireland.

Rev. Henry McHugh, now the veteran pastor of St. Canice Roman Catholic Church at Knoxville, Pennsylvania, was born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1835, eighth child and fifth son of Michael and Elizabeth (McManus) McHugh; baptized by Rev. Gallitzen.  His early education was obtained in the country public schools; then he entered St. Michael's Seminary at Glenwood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in February 1859.  He was ordained, June 6, 1868, by Bishop Dominic, of Pittsburgh.  His first charge was at Loretto, Pennsylvania where he served from July 12, 1868, to February 1869.  He was assigned to his first charge as regular pastor at Meyersdale, in the southern part of Somerset County, an important town on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where he officiated along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio and from the Sand Patch to Ohio Pyle Falls, an administering to the spiritual needs of the railroad employees then constructing the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  He was then sent to a church at Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, a large parish including missions at Waynesburgh and Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where he caused a church to be erected at Waynesburg during the three years he was pastor of that parish.  In 1873 he was assigned to the church at Wilmore, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, and for twenty-three years labored in that parish.  During that year the church grew wonderfully in numbers and spiritually, the church property was modernized and enlarged, and at Ernfelt a church and parish house was erected.  In March, 1896, Father McHugh was appointed to the parish of St. Agnes, Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, and there he completed in 1913 a successful pastorate of seventeen years.  Under his guidance, St. Agnes became a large and flourishing parish of seven hundred families.  His first care was to clear off a debt of $21,000; this being done he built a fine, spacious parish house.  Later he secured a desirable location on which he built a large up-to-date school, with a basement which now serves as a chapel for the accommodation of the parish, since the destruction of old St. Agnes by fire.

On December 11, 1913, he became pastor of the church of St. Canice at Knoxville, where he is now located.  One of the results of his work in Knoxville has been the erection of the beautiful convent of St. Canice, one of the finest and most modernly arranged convents in Western Pennsylvania.

Taken from: Jordan, John W. (John Woolf), 1840-1921 Vol. 2 Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania; editor-in-chief, John W. Jordan.  (pages 629-631)


Father McHugh died Feb 14, 1920 in the Knoxville section of Pittsburgh, PA.


Submitted by Mark O'Neill, great great nephew



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