Meet Father John Huber, CSB
Basilians touch the lives of many within their classrooms, parishes, and community. Father John Huber, CSB, carries on the traditions of his Basilian education and laying the foundation for the future in his roles as President of one the Basilian high schools, Catholic Central, and a member of the General Council.
Despite his busy schedule, he looks forward to celebrating Mass at St. Fabian’s Parish in Farmington Hills each weekend.
“I’m an extrovert and energized after celebrating mass with such a big community of good, holy people” he said.
He is also energized by keeping in touch with friends and former students online, “I’m able to keep in touch with graduates as they establish their families, it’s great to look back and see how happy and successful they are, and we Basilians had a role in them becoming these people,” he said.
The role of the Basilians in Father Huber’s life dates back to before he was born.
John was born in Rochester to John and Ann Huber into a typical Catholic family. As the third of six sons, it was a masculine household with plenty of teasing, wrestling, and competition. As a legacy family of Basilian-run Aquinas Institute, the Hubers had benefited from a Basilian education for generations. “Basilians had a reputation of being good educators, not just good teachers, but priests who cared about the whole student,” he said. There were even Basilian priests on both sides of his family tree.
During his sophomore year at Aquinas Institute, each student took a personality test to help determine a career path based on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Member of Clergy was at the top of the John’s list. “Not that I obeyed the results, but it helped me recognize where my strengths and desires were,” he said. “I had Basilian teachers in the classroom and I could see myself doing what they were doing,” he said.
After graduation, he explored joining the priesthood by attending both Basilian and diocesan vocation retreats. He admired the comradery amongst the Basilians and became a Basilian associate while studying French and Spanish at St. John Fisher College. During the summers he went on retreats to Strawberry Island and was able to form strong bonds with the other college aged associates from around Canada and the United States.
His first taste of living in community came after graduation. He was assigned to Annonay, the birthplace of the Basilian Fathers, to teach at the high school, St. Denis. It was his first time outside of Rochester and he was able to learn a lot about life as a Basilian
When he returned he was admitted into the noviciate in Sugar Land, Texas where he lived with five other novices. Here, his definition of brotherhood expanded. “It grew beyond just siblings, as there were older priests and his peers,” he said. “For me, there is a level of comfort in living in community and with the ministry, it’s not always easy, but I felt at home,” he said.
As a scholastic he studied Theology for one year at the University of St. Thomas in Houston while working with the French speaking community in the city, where he prepared young francophones for first communion and confirmation. He finished his degree at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario while living at the seminary. Having already had a taste of community life in France and Houston, he did not enjoy the hierarchical structure and rules of seminary life.
After completing his Masters of Theology, he jumped at opportunity to do his Masters at Middlebury College in Vermont, which included a year in Paris, in his opinion, the most beautiful city in the world. Again he made many good friends, both male and female, and continues to keep in touch, even officiating some of their weddings.
In May of 1992 he was ordained a deacon and then a priest in August. He spent time teaching and serving as Campus Minister at Aquinas Institute, before teaching at Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland, California. While living in California, he also completed his doctorate at the University of San Francisco.
He became the Vice Principal at Holy Redeemer in Detroit, Michigan and then taught at St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas before serving as Principal for four out of the five and half years he was there. In 2010, he was appointed as Principal of Detroit Catholic Central, and in 2014 he was elected as the school’s President. That same year he was also elected to the General Council.
In these roles he is shaping both the future students and the Congregation.
He carries on the traditions of Basilian education, by recognizing the value in educating the whole person. “It’s a great Basilian trait: we care about everything the students do, that’s why it’s not unusual for us Basilians to attend sports games and other events, which the students appreciate and take notice of as well.”
He also serves on the Board of Detroit Cristo Rey High School, a school sponsored by the Basilian Fathers for students who suffer the effects of poverty. He has been instrumental in facilitating connections between Catholic Central and Cristo Rey including tutoring and parent fundraisers. “These initiatives benefit both schools,” he said.
“I consider myself a big supporter of Catholic education and collaboration is extremely important with fellow Catholic schools. Over the years I have met many good and talented people who are willing to come and do workshops. I am lucky to work with religious and lay people who are dedicated to the Mission of Catholic education,” he said.