Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bishop John Henry Hobart

Today the Church remembers a bishop from Early America, John Henry Hobart, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 14th of September on 1775 and who died on this day, the 12th of September 1830.  Hobart served as the third Bishop of the Diocese of New York, and founded the General Theological Seminary in New York.
He was the son of a ship captain, and as a young boy he attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia.  Thereafter, he went to the University of Pennsylvania and then transferred to Princeton where he graduated with a B.A. and then an M.A.  He read for orders (studying on his own) under the direction of Bishop White, the longest serving Presiding Bishop in the United States.  Hobart was ordained deacon in 1798 and priest in 1800.  After serving a few parishes in the Philadelphia area, in 1803 Hobart went to serve as a curate at Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, New York. 

Hobart was not a stately man.  He was short, nearsighted so he wore thick glasses.   When he preached, Hobart spoke rapidly and emotionally.  At a time when most men were quite reserved, Hobart was warm, speaking to everyone, from farmers to governors.

At the age of 36, Hobart was elected Suffragan Bishop of New York, and then he became the Diocesan Bishop just 3 years later.  James Kiefer writes that: “He knew all the clergy in the Church generally and in his own diocese intimately. He was aware of their background, remembered their families, forgave their frailties, and appreciated their strengths. He watched over his candidates for Holy Orders with a paternal interest, meeting with them weekly. … This lovable, indefatigable, type-A bishop went virtually nonstop from his ordination until his death. The only surprise was that he didn't die sooner.”

He was a wonderful pastor to his people riding literally thousands of miles across his Diocese to visit all of his flock, and eventually he wore himself. He died at the age of 55.

Let us pray:  Revive your Church, Lord God of hosts, whenever it falls into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like your servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember this day; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken your people to your message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer Study begins this Sunday at 11:00 a.m.  Materials will be available. Please come and join this study and grow in your faith.

Our regularly scheduled Bishop’s Committee Meeting is this Sunday starting immediately after the Eucharist.  Items on the agenda will include: (1) Biehl Community Garden update; (2) Sutton Hall use update; (3) financial report; (4)the Bell Tower historical space; (5) update on pest control; (6) update on hiring culinary students from Galveston College for Sunday breakfasts; and (7) status of obtaining internet for the Church.  I invite everyone’s participation to share in the decision making of our faith community.

Art Show begins Saturday, 22 September with a reception at 6:00 p.m.

St. Vincent’s Day celebration on 29 September with Eucharist at 10:00 a.m.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Patricia and Spurgeon.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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