In Memoriam: Peter E. Hogan
Raymond J. Jirran, September 2005
From the In Memoriam column of the September 2005 Perspectives
Reverend Peter E. Hogan, SSJ, trained archivist and a 50-year member of the AHA, died on May 5, 2004. More than 50 years ago, John Hope Franklin explained to the young Hogan that the reason Black Catholics did not have a better historical presence was lack of archival resources. As a result, Father Hogan spent much of the remainder of his life in his ivory tower in the basement (where the humidity is controlled) of the Josephite House of Central Administration in Baltimore, where over three million documents exist as the Josephite contribution to the history profession. The archives are in a constant state of computerized enhancement, with at least three million suitable for a computerized search.
Peter Hogan welcomed everyone into his archives with his cheery "Have a happy…" leaving his listener to fill in the blank, however he wished. Hogan was convinced that the history of the Catholic Church would be better off with the telling of the Black Apostolate in the Josephite story. He treated the wide variety of users with what went well beyond professional due diligence. Those who now maintain the Josephite archives continue to take pride in rendering the same service to all users.
I knew Father Hogan first as my undergraduate seminary professor and later as a colleague in the history profession. Born in 1921, he lived a relatively long life, the last 40 years of which he spent basically full time between his prie-dieu upstairs at the altar and his desk downstairs in the archives, on a rigorous, unending daily basis. All the Josephites, whose support was essential to his endeavors, admired his prayerful diligence, intelligence, and joie de vivre. The stream of researchers who continue to use the Josephite archives enjoy the advantage of the same characteristics. May he rest in peace.
—Raymond J. Jirran
Thomas Nelson Community College (retired)