For the past two years, Br. Henry Hoffman has studied as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He entered formation as a college graduate and a pre-Theology student. Over the past two years, Henry’s vocation has become more certain for him and has transformed at the same time. In the latest newsletter from the Community-in-Formation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri , Br. Hoffman explains how he found the fullness of his vocation to the priesthood:
It is hard for me to believe that I have been in the novitiate for more than two months; the time has simply flown by. God is good and has poured out his goodness on me abundantly by bringing me to the Community-in-Formation.
I first encountered Saint Philip Neri while staying in Rome in the spring of 2014. I prayed often at his tomb in the Chiesa Nuova and believe it was there that he planted the seeds of my vocation to the Community. I learned a little about Saint Philip then, and was struck by his prayerfulness and joy, as most are who possess the least knowledge of him whatsoever. Little did i know at the time that he would become my patron and spiritual father. During the two years I spent in the diocesan seminary, I often came to Old Saint Mary’s because I loved the beauty and reverence of the Masses and devotion of the Community which offered them. Praying at Old Saint Mary’s sustained and encouraged my vocation and, eventually, I came to realize that God was calling me to be a part of this blessed place. May God reward all who prayed and sacrificed to make my vocation a reality and may they continue to do so.
My thirty-day visit, as part of the application process this past summer, went very well and I felt at home right away. I enjoyed the many opportunities to serve at the Sacred Liturgy and it seemed that God destined me for this Community. So, applying to officially enter the Community as a postulant and subsequently being clothed with the habit as a novice were part of a natural progression for me. From helping the poor, to working on the Pious House, to chanting Vespers on Sundays, the novitiate has been a blessed time of spiritual growth. I am humbled by the blessings that God has given me so far and by all of my imperfections which yet remain to be purged. The process of sanctification never ends and my journey has only begun. So, I beg all of you to pray for me. Please be assured of my prayers for you, too. Preferisco Paradiso!