Pop­u­lar priest ‘Fa­ther Ted’ suc­cumbs to can­cer at age 60

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CATHERINE THOMP­SON

Rev. Ted Hughes, the for­mer par­ish priest at Sts. Peter and Paul par­ish in Hamil­ton, and most re­cently the priest for Our Lady of Lour­des Catholic Church in Water­loo, has died. He was 60.

Hughes, who was pas­tor of the Lour­des par­ish since June 2014, died at home on Fri­day, 14 months af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer.

Fa­ther Ted, as he was uni­ver­sally known, was born June 21, 1957, in Hamil­ton where he grew up and was or­dained a priest in May 1982.

His fu­neral is Wed­nes­day at the Cathe­dral Basil­ica of Christ the King, 714 King St. W., Hamil­ton. The fu­neral mass will take place at noon, fol­lowed by in­ter­ment at 3 p.m. at Holy Sepul­chre Ceme­tery in Burling­ton

Rev. Con O’Ma­hony, a for­mer pas­tor at St. Michael’s par­ish in Water­loo, be­came friends with Hughes in 1982, shortly af­ter O’Ma­hony im­mi­grated from Ire­land.

Over the course of the 35-year friend­ship, O’Ma­hony said he ap­pre­ci­ated his friend’s many qual­i­ties as a gen­tle man who en­joyed peo­ple.

“He was very kind,” O’Ma­hony said. “He had no prob­lem putting him­self out there. He could be very funny, and he liked to lis­ten to peo­ple’s sto­ries. ”

Hughes was in­spired by Pope Fran­cis, who urged priests to get out of the church and the rec­tory and go out among peo­ple, like a shep­herd liv­ing “with the smell of the sheep.”

Hughes liked to meet with all sorts of peo­ple, and en­joyed trav­el­ling. O’Ma­hony and Hughes went on sev­eral big trips to­gether, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia. Those trav­els some­times tested O’Ma­hony’s pa­tience, he said, as Hughes was “di­rec­tion­ally chal­lenged. Trav­el­ling with him could be quite frus­trat­ing. He had to have an ab­so­lutely clear un­der­stand­ing of where he was go­ing. GPS was a god­send for him.”

Pre­vi­ous to serv­ing as par­ish priest in Hamil­ton and Water­loo, Hughes also served at St. Do­minic par­ish in Oakville, Our Lady Im­mac­u­late par­ish in Guelph, and St. An­thony Daniel par­ish in Scot­land, just out­side Brant­ford. He also served for 10 years as chap­lain in fed­eral prisons in Saskatchewan and On­tario.

“He of­ten talked about the im­por­tance of be­ing a pres­ence in the prison, to bring ten­der­ness and kind­ness,” O’Ma­hony said. Hughes was quite moved by the Pope’s public ges­ture of wash­ing the feet of prison in­mates this past April, his friend said. “We’ve lost a good one,” O’Ma­hony said. Fr. Ted was rec­og­nized by Hamil­ton’s Bishop Dou­glas Crosby and Pope Fran­cis when he was cho­sen as a “Mis­sion­ary of Mercy,” one of more than 1,000 priests from ev­ery con­ti­nent named as mis­sion­ar­ies.

Rev. Ted Hughes was born in Hamil­ton

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