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Building the City of God

Msgr. Terence Hogan

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Born Oct. 6, 1952, in Washington, D.C., Father Hogan is the second of three children. His family moved to Florida in 1965 and became active in Holy Rosary Parish in Perrine. He entered St. John Vianney Seminary as a ninth-grader in 1966 and was ordained a priest for the Miami Archdiocese in 1980.

After serving at St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens and teaching at the minor seminary, he was sent to Rome, where he obtained his doctorate in liturgy. In addition to his archdiocesan duties, Father Hogan serves as North American director of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, a group dedicated to preserving the artistic and historical treasures of the Vatican.

Currently Msgr. Hogan is Pastor at Mary Help of Christians Church.

His early entrance into the seminary:

"I’m one of the last lifers." His first day of school in 1966 there were 36 in the class. "I was the only one out of the class to be ordained."

When he knew he wanted to be a priest:

"It first hit me when I was 10 or 11, when I started serving Mass." He played at Mass at home, wearing a Superman cape for robes and using nickel-size candy wafers as Communion. "It was a way of imitating what you saw at Mass. There was a majesty and a beauty (there)." Then he went to an ordination at St. Mary Cathedral and "I was just blown away by the dedication that I saw."

What he would be doing if he had not become a priest:

An architect or someone involved in politics. "Both work on building the physical and also building a better life for people, a better community."

What he did before becoming a priest:

At age 12, he played the organ at weekend Masses at Christ the King and Holy Rosary in Perrine. He left the seminary for a while and worked as a salesman in the commissary of an Air Force base, but he was not really good at it. "I always would tell people, this is a good deal or a bad deal."

"Once the priest thinks he’s better than the people, that’s the beginning of the destruction of his vocation."

What he does on his days off:

"I love going out to dinner with priest friends. Anything where you can relax and enjoy being with people who understand what your daily life is about."

Favorite TV series:

"I’m a newsaholic. I watch a lot of (talk shows) until my blood pressure goes up. That’s the political side of me."

Greatest joy:

"Celebrating the Eucharist."

His description of the ideal priest:

"Christ is the ideal priest. All we can attempt to do is be the alter Christi, try to be like Christ."

Priestly stereotype that should be discarded:

"That priests really are not in touch with what happens in the everyday life of people in the parish. When you wake up at 6 o’clock to open the church doors and 20 people start coming to you to talk about what’s going on in their lives, you sort of know what’s going on."

Young Terence Hogan playing the piano at home. At age 12, he played the organ at weekend Masses at Christ the King and Holy Rosary in Perrine.

Words of wisdom:

"Once the priest thinks he’s better than the people, that’s the beginning of the destruction of his vocation."

Who was most surprised by his vocation:

"Oftentimes, I am."

Person he most admires:

Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi: "The grace that she shared with others is just a constant opportunity for meditation on how we really are called to be." His story parallels Mother Teresa’s: "That constant love for those who have nothing, and yet done joyously."

Thing he most fears:

"I feel that we as a society are too rapidly losing respect for the individual as a human being and as a spiritual person. Once the ego becomes God in our life, then we are doomed to our orig-inal sin. How often do we as individuals think we know everything?"

His job with the Patrons of the Arts:

"One of the best parts of the Patrons job is that I often have the Vatican Museums or the Sistine Chapel all to myself."