Passing on God’s Blessings

Jul 23, 2018Donor Stories

Sometimes blessings have a way of repeating themselves. Retired archdiocesan priest Father John Jay Hughes has lived a long and blessed life. Coming from a strong religious background—his father and grandfather were Episcopal priests, and his mother was a descendent of John Jay, the devout first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—Father Hughes was ordained an Anglican priest but converted to Catholicism in 1960. By 1968, Father Hughes had been conditionally ordained a Catholic priest, and by 1969, he had earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Munster, where he had enjoyed lectures from Reverend Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).

Over the years, Father Hughes used his excellent education to compose more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles, columns and book reviews. He also served as a professor at St. Louis University and a theological consultant to the archbishop before serving as pastor of several parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Ever grateful for the gift of his education, Father Hughes began praying about how he might help other young priests receive similar educational experiences. He eventually concluded that the most effective and lasting way to pass on his blessings would be to establish an endowment fund that would provide ongoing tuition assistance to St. Louis Archdiocesan priests working toward doctoral degrees.

The St. Louis Archdiocesan Priests’ Doctoral Education Endowment Fund was established at the Foundation in early 2018 and will do just what Father hoped; distributions from the fund will bring the blessing of education to many religious young men in the years and decades to come. Armed with strong education, these young men will, just as did Father Hughes, enrich the lives of numerous Catholics and spread the message of Christ throughout the region and beyond.


The Roman Catholic Foundation builds endowed funds that will support Catholic parishes, schools and ministries throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis for generations to come.

Legal Name
Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri
Tax Identification Number: 46-3309222

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Roman Catholic Foundation
425 North New Ballas Road
Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63141


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