Following Faith

Utah Catholics honor Weber State’s do-everything Father Cummins

First Published      Last Updated Mar 17 2017 08:51 am

It seems honor and humility go hand in hand when it comes to the Rev. Charles Cummins, chaplain of Weber State University's Newman Center.

Father Cummins has served as everything from bus driver to track coach and charitable events organizer during his 44 years of association with the Utah Catholic schools system. He recently was presented with the Christ the Teacher Award after the Mass for Professional Educator Day at St. Vincent de Paul Parish.

In nominating Cummins for the honor, St. Joseph Elementary School Principal Nancy Essary wrote that the priest "always makes time to celebrate Mass for our students. He celebrates a very special First Holy Communion Mass for our second-graders, he's a fantastic golfer, and he is a huge supporter of both of our St. Joseph schools."

The Intermountain Catholic reported that Cummins served four years as U.S. Marine before beginning service as a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Five years later, he transferred to the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

He coached track and field for Ogden's St. Joseph Catholic High School, helping the students win three state championships while also driving the team bus.

"He was with the students and shared in their jubilation when they won; however, perhaps more importantly, he always had a consoling word and provided support and encouragement during those long drives home after a difficult defeat," said Utah Catholic Schools Superintendent Mark Longe.

Cummins appreciated the honor, but downplayed his service.

"I was an OK teacher. I think I was an adequate coach. I thought I was a good bus driver. I always got them home safely," he said in the newspaper's story. "But more important for all of us is that we were on the right path in this life."

Bob Mims