Though Monsignor James V. Hobbs resisted a celebration of the half century anniversary of his ordination, parishioners of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary insisted and the spotlight shown on the rector of the nation’s first cathedral May 20.
Born in Thurmont, Monsignor Hobbs was educated by the Daughters of Charity at St. Anthony School in Frederick County and graduated from St. Charles School, Catonsville, before studying theology at St. Mary’s College on Paca Street in Baltimore and entering St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park, in the 1950s.
Ordained with 18 other priests on May 25, 1957, Monsignor Hobbs ’ first assignment was at St. Mary, Cumberland, where he served as an associate pastor for 15 years before becoming pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Brooklyn, from 1972 to 1978.
From 1978 to 1992 Monsignor Hobbs served as an associate pastor of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland, before becoming rector of the basilica, a post the 76-year-old cleric hopes to hold until the day he retires.
Though Monsignor Hobbs has witnessed exciting events in his 50 years of service, he said it was his first celebration of Mass after his ordination and the devotion to the Eucharist that gave him his first and enduring pleasure in his vocation.
“Knowing that you can bring Christ into the lives of other people is wonderful,” he said. “It’s been a precious gift.”