By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
History has always been a passion for Jonathan Haughn. So, too, has his Catholic faith. Now, Haughn gets to pursue both of those passions on a daily basis.
Haughn, 31, joined the Diocese of Dallas as its new archivist in March.
In his new role, Haughn serves as a liaison to those accessing the diocesan archives, including diocesan offices, parishes, schools, researchers and the public.
“It’s preservation, conservation and protection of the important documents, relics and artifacts” Haughn said. “Organization is also an important part of the job.”
In addition, Haughn oversees a master file of sacramental records, such as baptismal records and marriage records, within the diocese.
Haughn, a native of Long Island, New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Joseph’s College (now St. Joseph’s University) in Patchogue, New York. He is currently working on his master’s degree in librarian information science with a concentration in archives from Clarion University.
Haughn first arrived in Texas in 2018, joining the Houston Police Department briefly as a cadet before transitioning into the automotive field. However, as he began work on his master’s degree, Haughn knew he wanted to transition into something more suited to his interests.
“I started volunteering to help with the archives for St. Anne’s in Houston,” said Haughn, adding that St. Anne Catholic Community, which is under the direction of the Basilian Fathers, was founded in 1924 and is one of the oldest and largest churches in Houston. “They wanted me to archive the Basilian Fathers records. They had a lot of it done, but really needed it all organized.”
Haughn grew up in the Catholic church and attended Catholic school from elementary through high school. At St. John the Evangelist, his home parish in New York, Haughn received the sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist and Confirmation as well as served as an altar server, extraordinary minister and lector. His volunteer work at St. Anne was a perfect fit, he said.
“I loved my Catholic faith. I loved history,” he said. “And I just wanted to do something that tied it all together.”
Looking to relocate to North Texas, Haughn reached out to the Diocese of Dallas to inquire about an internship only to learn that then-archivist Joyce Higgins was looking to retire.
“I immediately submitted my resume,” said Haughn, adding that he feels like it’s the best position he’s ever held. “I feel like I’m doing research every day, which I love to do.”
Inquiries about the Catholic Diocese of Dallas archives can be directed to Haughn by visiting www.cathdal.org/archives.