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Kevin Cahill Hughes, S.J.

Province: Maryland

Birthday: September 13, 1985

Hometown: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Education: Bachelor’s degree, biology, La Salle University; Master’s degree, biology, Saint Louis University; Master of Divinity, Regis College, University of Toronto

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
1. Worked with deaf Catholics in St. Louis, Toronto and Rochester, New York.
2. Taught math and science at McQuaid Jesuit High in Rochester.
3. Did a summer emersion with fellow Jesuit scholastics in China.

Will serve as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, Maine.

Kevin Cahill Hughes, S.J., grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with his parents and sister, where he attended his local parish grammar school. Kevin’s grandmother suggested that he consider St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia for high school, which was a wise suggestion because this is where he first met the Society of Jesus. He always loved science and throughout high school aspired to do some kind of research in the field of biology. High school was a difficult time for Kevin, as it is for many, and he did not care to put much effort into developing a relationship with God. After graduating from high school, he attended La Salle University in Philadelphia where he majored in biology. During his freshman year, Kevin had an experience of God. He always struggles to adequately describe this experience, but regardless, in the moment of encounter he felt and knew that he was deeply loved by God and called to relationship. Kevin wanted to understand his experience and what it might mean to be loved and called by God, so he went back to talk with one of the Jesuits he knew and trusted from his high school, Fr. Tom Clifford, S.J. Over the next four years of undergrad he examined what it means to be loved by God and began to discern how best to make a response in love to the God who loves him. Kevin decided that he wanted to give back with a life of service to God and God’s people. By the end of his senior year, he had applied and been accepted to the novitiate, and Kevin has loved continuing his journey of discernment about how best to respond to God’s love and Christ’s call to follow him. As a Jesuit in formation, Kevin taught math and science at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York; did a summer immersion with fellow Jesuit scholastics in China; and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Regis College in Toronto. After ordination, Kevin will serve as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, Maine.

Kevin baptizing his cousin Andrew’s son Ashton; serving as a deacon and performing baptisms brought Kevin great joy.

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
My favorite saint is Mary Magdalene. We learn from Luke’s Gospel that she is a woman from whom seven demons had been cast out. Her healing encounter with Jesus caused in her a complete and total transformation, so that she becomes a companion of Jesus during his ministry. We also learn from John’s Gospel that Jesus appears to her after his resurrection and charges her with the mission of telling his disciples the Good News. Mary Magdalene is my favorite saint because I admire her response to follow Jesus after being healed, and I desire to emulate her eagerness and willingness to be sent by Jesus on mission to bring the Good News of him to others.

What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit and why is it important to you?
One hobby that I have cultivated as a Jesuit is playing board games. I have found this to be a fun and creative outlet from studies and the stresses of the day. For me, playing board games is a communal activity during which I can be present to my brothers in community and just have fun. The games themselves are enjoyable, but the fellowship, the banter and the fraternal interactions that they facilitate are what make the games worthwhile. Especially now when most people are totally engrossed in their cellphones, tablets or computers, it is awesome to be able to finish dinner and do something together that does not involve any screen time.

Kevin at dinner with some of his Jesuit friends while on vacation. From left, Jonathan Harmon, S.J.; David Lugo, S.J.; Alex Llanera, S.J.; Kevin; and Bryce Deline, S.J.

Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
Forgiven, healed, loved. Responding in love.

Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
Br. Jim Lemon, S.J., was one important mentor to me during my time in formation. I lived with “Bro” during my long experiment as a novice and would often talk with him about my day, week, struggles, etc. During one occasion in which I was complaining about the attitude of another community member he asked me a simple question that has stayed with me ever since, and which I find myself going back to regularly. He said, “Kevin, I hear you and I understand what you’re saying, but I have one question: For whom did you enter the Society of Jesus?” This immediately put everything into perspective. He helped me to realize and remember that I did not enter the Society of Jesus for myself or for anyone other than Christ. Br. Lemon’s question continues to help me remember to bring my focus back to Christ, because it is Christ who sustains me. This also helps me to remember to give thanks to Christ for the many blessings I have received in my life through my family, my friends and in my fellow Jesuits.