Born James McHugh on January 21, 1887, he grew up in the Lackawanna Valley near Scranton, Pennsylvania. His older bother, Peter, was a priest in the diocese of Scranton. James received his early education at St. Patrick’s School and as a young boy would often visit the new Passionist monastery at St. Ann’s, Scranton. There he met Brother Valentine Rausch who was the front door porter. In 1905 James McHugh graduated from St. Thomas College, Scranton and in September of that year entered Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts. Upon completion of his course of study he entered Saint Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, New York and was ordained a priest on July 12, 1912 by Bishop Hoban. After ordination Father McHugh was sent to The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where he studied under Paulist Father Elliott. For five years Father McHugh was a zealous priest in the Scranton diocese where he organized the Holy Name Society, Pittston. In 1917 he decided to enter the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On October 8, 1918 he professed his Passionist vows. He lived in West Springfield, Massachusetts and just prior to his death was residing at St. Ann’s. Scranton.
Father McHugh was a winter 1930 visitor to Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit Michigan where he had been the 1928 Retreat Master. [cited in The Gothic, April 15, 1930 p. 40] –Added Feb. 8, 2005