Fr David Hogman

"And I tell thee this in my turn, that thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16:1819

In '03, his University of Victoria professor in medieval history projected this quote on the classroom screen and the 20-year-old student realized the continuity of the Catholic church from the time Jesus spoke these words to this day and the connection of saints Peter, Paul and the apostles to the church of today.

This began the conversion of David Hogman, the son, grandson and nephew of United Church of Canada ministers: grandparents, Rev. Bill Hogman and Rev. Alice Hogman; parents, Rev. John Hogman and Rev. Michelle Hogman; aunt and uncle, Rev. Kathy Hogman and Rev. Armand Houle.

Our new pastor - starting 1 July '15 - was born in Dauphin, Manitoba, on 21 April '83.

His father, a University of Manitoba graduate, and his mother, a U.S. citizen and graduate of Muhlenburg College, a private institution in Allentown, Pennsylvania, met at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

After their marriage, they moved to Dauphin as ministers for the United Church of Canada, where his mother baptized David.

He went to elementary school at Pilot Mound, Manitoba, before the family moved to Victoria, where he attended Sir James Douglas Elementary, Central Junior High, and Victoria High School, where he graduated high school in '01.

David has two siblings, Michael and Rachel, and the family lived in Fairfield, where his parents served as ministers at Fairfield United Church for 12 years prior to moving to Ontario.

He became a Catholic in '03 and was confirmed at St. Andrew's Cathedral during the Easter vigil. During that time, he paid his way through university by working as a dishwasher in a few local restaurants during the evenings, eventually graduating in '05.

After his confirmation, he became an active member of St. Andrew's Cathedral as an altar server and teacher and volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Society's Social Concern Office.

After he graduated, he worked at the Hotel Grand Pacific as the doorman as he prepared the next stage of his vocational journey.

As soon as he became a Catholic, his desire was to be a priest. However, he wanted to take some time to discern and to "Catholocize" himself. He travelled on his own throughout France and Italy over the course of several months to better understand the meaning of the priesthood and the call to serve the People of God.

'Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta' by Mother Teresa was another great influence in his deepening Catholic faith.

It was suggested to him that to help himself in discerning his vocation, he go to work for the poor. In '08 he went to Tijuana, Mexico, to get mission experience with the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. From February to July he lived with seminarians there, prayed with them and engaged in their mission to serve the poorest of the poor.

In July '08 he began his formal studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Edmonton just as Friar Dan Gurnick, outgoing Sacred Heart pastor, was finishing his theological formation at Newman Theological College.

His favourite theologians are:

Ordained on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, 29 June '13 at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Fr. David Hogman served as assistant pastor at the cathedral until his appointment as Sacred Heart pastor.

Fr. Hogman has no illusions about the difficulty of being a pastor.

He decided not to join the Missionaries of Charity and to come back to Canada as a diocesan priest for the Victoria diocese, not to avoid the world's poverty, but to find it. During his time in Mexico, Fr. Hogman says he was continually humbled by the faith and the courage of the poorest that he served.

He soon realized that the greatest poverty was right outside his door in Victoria. He says there is a deeper poverty in rich countries than material poverty. It is the poverty of being alone and unloved, such as senior citizens in care homes, single parents, immigrants, and the sick and the dying that reveals our poverty.

"It is easy to give the poor a sandwich but harder to listen to the pain of those alone."

He suspects that some of Canada's most visible forms of poverty are manifestations of this deeper poverty.

He feels rejuvenated when he celebrates mass at a seniors' care home with only a dozen people in wheelchairs attending.

"Any humble table can be an altar of glory because of the sacraments we celebrate. The problem is whether or not we have eyes to see it. In the same way, once we have encountered the humble beauty of God's altar in its communion of service and love for the lost and forsaken, the more we seek to make this world a more beautiful place."