Fr. Z remembers an old friend, Rev. Mr. Harold Hughesdon

One of the influential figures in my conversion was a Englishman, a permanent deacon at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul.

The late Rev. Mr. Harold Hughesdon, who died some years ago, had been in the Westminster Cathedral School in London in the 30’s, a pilot in the RAF in the war, a professor of physics, a VP of 3M.  When he was in the RAF, he met an American girl.  They married and settled in St. Paul.   Among his accomplishments at St. Agnes was the training of the altar boys in the style of Westminster Cathedral.  He also obtained permission from the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster to set up the first chapter of the Confraternity of St. Stephen, for altar boys, outside the Commonwealth.  Here in Madison I’ve asked the present Cardinal Archbishop for the same and he said yes.  That’s to come!

Today, in looking at my notes for All Saints – I have a Missa Cantata this evening – I found a recording of Harold reading the 2nd Reading for today, in the Novus Ordo, from 1 John – back in 2012.

Here it is:

I don’t know why I have this recording, but I am sure glad that I do.

His reading at the Vigil of Easter of “Chariots and charioteers” is legendary.

In your charity, in this time when we pray for the dead, please stop and say a prayer for my old friend Rev. Mr. Harold Hughesdon.  He is greatly missed.  Requiescat.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mat. Anna says:

    Memory eternal!

  2. ASPM Sem says:

    NB: per diocesan particular law, only transitional deacons at to be referred to as Rev. Mr.

    [Let ’em try to stop me.]

  3. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    ASPM Sem,

    I’m sure that can be resolved in the Internal Forum.

  4. Elizabeth D says:

    I warmly approve setting up an actual chapter of a Confraternity instead of having people pretend to belong to one. Numerous people have been misled to think they belong to the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular (without having any particular idea what that might be), or pray the Perpetual Help devotions including once a month a renewal of the promises specific to the related confraternity, which has no local chapter and no local members. I am not sure whether I have ever in my life met someone who belongs to an actual confraternity. I have been told it is more of a European thing. But I do not know why that should be the case.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Confraternities, guilds, and sodalities used to be a very American thing.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I keep seeing the recording show up briefly, as the page loads, and then it disappears. Probably it’s my browser rather than your page….

  7. Liz says:

    I’m sorry, Father. I will pray for his soul in our rosary and at mass today. May God reward him for his love and service to the church.

  8. Curate says:

    Indeed, a legendary man, most notably for his kindness.
    As a high-school student he was helping me tie a cincture as I was donning vestments for a show-and-tell to the elementary kids. He leans into me and says, “You’ll have to do this yourself one day.”
    He was right. I celebrated my first Mass on that very altar.

  9. Me says:

    He was a great man. I have two boys in the photo who learned a great deal from him!

  10. sistermartha says:

    I remember the Rev. Mr. Hughesdon very fondly as his sidekick in training the terrific corps of Altar servers at St. Agnes Church. He was one in a million, as was his dear bride. I’m sorry that I cannot seem to gain access to your recording of his reading! I think of him every year at the Easter Vigil Mass – and you as well, Fr. Z. No one can sing the The Exultet the way that only you can!

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