Gabriel Hughes, OFM
1920 – 1985
Br. Gabriel Hughes, OFM, was born on April 6, 1920 in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. He studied for two years at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., and left in 1940 to be received as a tertiary brother. Br. Gabriel entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1941, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1947.
In 1943, Br. Gabriel volunteered for the newly initiated mission in Brazil. The youngest member of the pioneer group of friars, he was assigned to cook at Catalao, and also to serve as porter, gardener, sacristan, and trained the altar boys in the parish. He was described by the pastor as “a man of prayer, quiet but friendly, alive to all that was good and beautiful.”
He returned to the United States in 1962 and was assigned to St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J. There, he became a meticulous tailor who enjoyed his work. When illness began to curtail his work, Br. Gabriel took up painting and woodcarving. He endured pain and discomfort for two decades without complaining. In 1983, he moved to St. Joseph Friary, East Rutherford, N.J.
He died there on Dec. 3, 1985. Br. Gabriel was 65 years old, a professed friar for 43 years.