Fr Pat McHugh CC

Fr Pat McHugh has been in residence in Killesher from September 2013.

Father Pat was born in Swanlinbar, County Cavan, the eldest of a family of eight. He attended Saint Patrick’s College, Cavan and University College Dublin, where he completed a degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation he worked in England for three years and completed terms in Sierra Leone (involved in the building of 10 bridges), Kuwait (involved in building a jetty for oil), Nigeria (involved in the construction of a 400 mile railway line) and finally Australia where he worked for eight years (Department of Main Roads in New South Wales & Electricity Commission in Victoria). He returned to Dublin and worked as an engineer for seven years for North County Dublin. He joined the Legion of Mary in Melbourne Australia in 1965 and continued to play a large part in the legion in Dublin. While he had thought about the priesthood as a young man, he thought he could work out his vocation as a lay volunteer with the Legion of Mary.

As time passed, his workload as an engineer increased with the result that he was going to have to cut back on his work with the legion, if not give it up completely. This led him to a cross-roads in his life. He decided to go to Lisieux in France on a retreat. He had read the ‘Story of a soul’. A priest on the retreat suggested priesthood to him. It struck a chord deep within him. While thinking initially of joining the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, he recalls speaking with Canon Terry Mc Manus from Kinawley about the priesthood. Canon Terry rang the late Bishop Mc Kiernan whom he subsequently met. Bishop Mc Kiernan told him that he would accept him for the diocese of KIlmore. Father Pat then went to study in the Beda Colllege in Rome from 1978-1982. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Kilmore on June 20 1982 in Templeport with the current Bishop of Ardagh, Bishop Francis Duffy. He was appointed CC. Ballinamore from 1982-1984, C.C. Bunnoe 1984-1992, C.C. Drumkilly 1992-2002, C.C. Redhills 2002-2005, 2005-2013 chaplaincy work with Legion of Mary in Dublin and Morning Star hostel, September 2013 priest in residence Killesher. It was as C.C. Bunnoe (Fr. Gabriel’s home parish) that Fr. Pat and Fr. Gabriel’s path crossed. Fr. Pat attended his diaconate ceremony in Rome in 1989 and helped organise his priesthood ordination in 1990. Fr. Pat is blessed with a deep faith. He sees faith as the greatest gift of all. Ordained a priest at 53 after a very full life as an engineer, where he had travelled the world, Fr. Pat says in relation to his life as a priest: ‘I wouldn’t want to do anything else.’