James C. HOGE

HOGE, Father James C., age 96, passed away March 16, 2013. Father James was born November 28, 1916 in Charleston, WV, together with his twin sister Margaret, the second set of twins in a family of seven girls and two boys, born to James C. Hoge Sr and his wife Theresa. In May 1923 the family moved to Griffin, FL, 3 miles North of Lakeland. Father James graduated from Lakeland High School in December 1933 and for several years he and his twin Margaret picked strawberries to supplement the family's income while the older siblings had full-time jobs in Lakeland. Father Jame's mother had aspirations and encouraged him to consider a vocation as a Catholic Priest and in 1936 he entered Saint Leo Abbey and was enrolled in the Benedictine Minor Seminary at St. Bernard in Cullman, Alabama. He graduated from St. Bernard in 1937 and was accepted at St. Benedicts College in Atchison, KS, graduating in June 1940 and returning to Saint Leo Abbey where in June 1941 he made his Solemn Profession of Vows. He was ordained a Priest on May 15, 1943 in the Saint Leo Abbey Church and was assigned to the Florida Benedictine Missions in 1944 until he retired in 1992. He held many significant jobs at Saint Leo Abbey where he served as a teacher in the Abbey Prep School from 1938-1955; Director of Development, 1957-1961; Procurator 1960-1961 and 1965-1967 and Trustee of Saint Leo College from 1959-1978. In 1992, Father James retired as Pastor of St. Scholastica Parish and President of Central Catholic School in Lecanto, FL. Referred to by many as the "Catholic Father of Citrus County", in his career in the Benedictine Missions, Father James founded seven parishes (five in Citrus County) and two Catholic Schools. A viewing will be held on Friday March 22, 2013 at 6:30pm in the Abbey Church and the Funeral Mass will take place on10:00am Saturday, March 23, 2013 in the Abbey Church.

Published in TBO.com on Mar. 19, 2013