What will you find in the book? Read the letter below … and see ONE of the Table of Contents Lou wrote.
As there are multiple, very different, versions of “the book” (making it almost impossible to publish as one entity), we’ve chosen to segment it into categories so that it will be easier for you to get the valuable information.
In the membership area, over time, you’ll see all of the book … presented in excerpts, categorized by topics. We have made every attempt to present the material just as it was written, although some of the names and details have been changed to respect the privacy of the living.
NOTE on the letter below. It seems that everyone (regardless of age, sex or religious affiliation) is interested in the mystique of the Roman Catholic priesthood. The writing of one young woman (Renee King Parker) … a friend of the family … does an outstanding job of articulating why she would like to read Lou’s book. Her thoughts illuminate what his “memoirs” could mean to you.
[Renee] “Why would a thirty-something Evangelical Christian girl who has spent a decade leading Bible studies be interested in the story of a seventy-something man who spent almost five decades as a Roman Catholic priest? That question leads me to a question rather than an answer. Why wouldn’t I be interested? I’m curious about people in general, but the chance to explore the personal life of a man that gave his life to a career that entailed celibacy is quite intriguing. How does a MAN remain celibate for his entire adult life? Why does the Catholic Church mandate celibacy for their Priests?
From ecumenical standpoint the ‘label’ that a Christian wears, such as – Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian etc… isn’t relevant to me, but rather I am drawn by the heart that the person has for God. A person with love for serving God and giving their life away for that purpose always gets my full attention. I want to know if and when Lou Hohman knew that he was called into a life of service and dedication to shepherding the sheep. What was it like to make a decision that required almost everything that he had to give?
There is a definite mystery that surrounds the ‘idea’ that I have of a priest. I imagine such a man often being swept away in the Word of God and in prayer. What was it really like? I also envision that most of a Priest’s ordinary moments have a clear sense of Divine interweaving that might be lost on people who are less dedicated or aware of God in each moment. Is this true for Lou?
What was it like for Lou to hear confessions when he may have been the one needing to confess his own sins? Who did he confide his faults to? Was God his sole source for soul bearing? Did Lou long for more? Was he ever lonely? What did he do with his loneliness?
What did Lou do with the theological conflicts that he encountered within the Church and their beliefs and him and his own understandings and beliefs?
Discovery, the discovery of a man who has literally ‘been there and done that’ in terms of Spiritual ministry and focus makes me hungry to learn from such a person. A life lived with reflection is a life worth knowing a lot about.
I want to know how to live a righteous life and what it is like when even a Priest has been guilty of not always living that way. I want to know that I’m not alone in my temptations, especially the sexual ones. I want to hear about those temptations and what it felt like to succumb to them.
I want to hear how Lou processed through guilt, shame and anger. Difficult choices become difficult emotions. How do you live beyond, through and in the middle of such angst and still love God and others with all of your heart, mind and soul? Bottom line the creativity and spirituality of this project (journey) lead me directly to love.”
From the Introduction in One of Lou’s Books
I have had a constant conflict between my love of the “church” and my need for companionship. At age 74, I left the priesthood to get married … after 49 years of service to the Church and my retirement at age 73.
People often ask, “What made me join the priesthood?” “Why did it take so long to leave?” “Why didn’t I ever leave before?” “How could I live so long with celibacy?”
This is my story. Let me tell you how it happened. How I felt. Where I failed — the joys of success.
I’ve experienced radical changes in the Church – and especially the way priests are “made”.
My hope for you is that you come to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for what it takes to be a priest. The struggles; the joys. And I hope you enjoy the story along the way. I am, after all, a human being first – who chose to be a priest.
When all is said and done, I love the Church like my grandmother, I just wish she’d run a little faster.
(For one version)
Introduction: Setting the Stage
Chapter 1: With This Ring . . . Proposing Marriage
Becoming A Priest
Chapter 2: To Join or Not to Join . . . Deciding for Priesthood
Chapter 3: To Leave or Not To Leave . . . Minor Seminary
Chapter 4: Years at the Rock . . . Major Seminary
Chapter 5: Instant Respect . . . Being Ordained
Being A Priest
Chapter 6: More Than a Crush . . . My True Love
Chapter 7: Busier Than a “One Armed Paper Hanger”. . . At Loose Ends Personally
Chapter 8: Welcome to the Real World . . . Changing the Seminary
Chapter 9: Losing My Way . . . Abusing Alcohol
Chapter 10: Meteoric Media Star . . . Radio, TV, Columnist
Chapter 11: Best of Both Worlds . . . Relationships Redefined
Leaving the Priesthood
Chapter 12: Happily Ever After . . . Enduring Commitment
Epilogue The Need for Change