Hogue, Father Charles
1928, March 6
Date of Birth: 1863, October 4
No Memorial Card is Available
February 12, 1930
Fathers and Dear Confreres:
The infirmities and sickness of the revered Father Garriguet did not, for a long time, allow him to write, out of his heart and soul, for our deceased confreres the obituary notices we all appreciated. In the name of His Eminence, Cardinal Verdier, Superior General of St. Sulpice, I send you today, for several of our dear deceased, the biographical notes that we have managed to put together. As in the past, individual notices will succeed this collective notice; in them there will be an attempt to outline the life, virtues, and death of our recently deceased confreres.
Father Charles Gabriel Hogue was born on October 4, 1863, in Cleveland, Ohio. After his elementary studies in the Cathedral parish school, he made his classical studies at the minor seminary of Cincinnati and at St. Charles; then his Philosophy and first year of Theology at the Baltimore major seminary, St. Mary’s. It was in Paris, at St. Sulpice, that he completed his Theology. In 1889 he left for All Hallows Seminary (Dublin), run by the Vincentians. There he was ordained a priest in 1889 and stayed there for two years during which he took courses at the Royal University of Dublin. Those special studies were an excellent preparation for his teaching. He made his Solitude in 1891-1892.
Our confrere always – and rightly so – was regarded as an excellent teacher. He loved everything connected with teaching. He knew how to interest his students in their studies. He was especially appreciated by the more intelligent, but we must remember the very special care he took with another type of student – while he was Superior at St. Charles, he gathered together a dozen young men, older than the norm, and gave them Latin lessons so that they could, as soon as possible, serve the Church and souls. With our dear confrere, his heart went right along with his mind.
In 1892, leaving Solitude, Father Hogue was sent to the minor seminary of St. Charles. There he spent the greater part of his life as techer and director. From 1892 to 1898 he taught Literature with remarkable success. From that he acquired an uncontested mastery over all the students. He spent the years 1898-1904 at Menlo Park in California where, under the revered Father Vuibert’s direction, our confreres were starting up a seminary. To the Rhetoricians [2nd Year College students] he taught Latin, Greek, and French. He was also put in charge of the Philosophers. He was of great assistance to the community as organist, as teacher of Chant, and as Moderator of Dramatics. The shows were very well prepared. Under his direction the students put on fine theater productions, sometimes even Shakespeare. It was for these shows that he composed in blank verse a play both pious and interesting entitled Victor. Its hero, a martyr in the persecutions of the first centuries, was the product of a master’s hand, and the Roman background, where the action took place, was very well drawn. This play was put on several times at the minor seminary of St. Charles. Each showing was well received by the students and priests who came to attend the performances – performances were always very well done.
In 1904 our confrere came back to St. Charles and taught Greek and Latin to the upper classes and Rhetoric. From 1918 to 1925 he was Superior of the house.
During his superiorship the number of students increased considerably, partially because of his personality. He knew how to make students love St. Charles, and that surely contributed not a little to attract a greater number of applicants. The mere fact that he was at the head of the seminary made that institution like a family home. He encouraged good humor as a very effective remedy for boredom – an excellent thing in itself. He was never downcast or pessimistic, but a charitable and equitable person who did not take too seriously the weaknesses and waverings of the boys and young men who were under him. He could be playfully teasing at times, but his good words were not harsh. He knew how to joke, and doubtless his role as Superior obliged him to cultivate the virtue of hospitality. Therefore, in his last years, he more and more took on the qualities of an amiable host. He was less aloof than in the past, and the real respect that was his from the students was tinged with sincere affection. As Superior, he fulfilled his role with dignity. He knew, too, how to justify the trust of those who had appointed him to run St. Charles.
When by reason of his precarious health he had to resign, it was with very good grace that he became again a simple teacher. Far from believing his work over, he did not stop up to the end working for the success of the work of the minor seminary which was so dear to him. Let us add that, in faculty meetings, he was very much the conservative. He had always at heart seeing St. Charles faithful to its traditions and its past.
During all the time that our confrere was teacher or superior, he devoted himself entirely to his jobs. He wrote very little, and only rarely did he agree to public appearances outside the minor seminary. His spiritual readings were full of interest and edification. To that phase of superiorship he dedicated, along with the treasures of his spirit of faith and of piety, the treasures of his mind – and also a lightheartedness like that of St. Francis de Sales.
Thanks to his higher studies, he knew how to embellish his class lessons and his conversations which quotations from classical authors: Horace, among the ancients; and Shakespeare, among the moderns. These were his favorites. The poet of Venusium was bedtime reading. Once he even dared to say that the literary appreciation he had for Horace was a little like the veneration he had, as a Christian, for Holy Scripture. Thus, he spoke of “our” or more rightly “my” old friend Horace. Not only did he seem to have relived the writings but even to have rethought the thoughts of the post. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate to say that there are a good many counsels contained in our ancient classics that should not be taken too literally. He protested, for instance, against the over-rigid and false application of, among others, the well-known text of Ovid “Principiis obsta”. [Take a stand at the outset] to the call of the bell for rising.
Nearly every Sunday he gave a well thought out homily on the day’s Gospel. He spoke of the Blessed Virgin only in terms of the most tender affection. For many years he was faithful to the daily recitation of the fifteen decades of the Rosary, and each time that he spoke of the mysteries of the Rosary (and the same was true of all his conferences and talks) there was always the echo of a piety altogether solid, practical, and loving.
As we have already said, our confrere wrote very little. But besides his spiritual readings and talks, what he wrote had the hallmark of an artist who knows how to express his thoughts with precision, taste, and elegance.
However, Father Hogue’s health was fragile. From 1907 on, the weakness of his lungs had forced him to take some ease. From 1910 to 1916 his physical state remained precarious enough. In the years that followed our confrere resumed his activity. But after he retired as superior, he began to decline. Father Hogue made his remote preparation for death with simplicity and the innate perfection that he brought to everything. On March 6, 1928, the good God called back to himself this good servant of the Society and of the Church.
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I recommend these three confreres to your fraternal prayers and address to you the expression of my respectful and very devoted affection in Our Lord.
Vice-Superior of St. Sulpice