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Monsignor remembered for compassion, leadership

A Catholic clergyman who spent 18 years at St. John Neumann Parish in St. Charles died March 23 after a battle with brain cancer, according to the Rockford Diocese.

Monsignor Robert Hoffman was 77. Ordained in 1962, Hoffman joined St. John Neumann Parish in July 1989 after assignments that took him to such places as Spring Grove, Dundee, Aurora and DeKalb, according to the diocese.

He was named a prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II on June 24, 1998, according to the diocese. He retired about nine years later, in June 2007. The Rev. John Rodgers of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Campton Hills knew Hoffman through a monthly clergy breakfast group. They talked about religious and community issues and shared a love of the Colorado mountains, he said.

Like other clergymen, Rodgers said, Hoffman would be recognized when he was out in public.

“He was an outgoing person, always compassionate with people,” Rodgers said.

In a Rockford Diocese 2009 to 2010 publication that asked priests what they learned from their fellow priests, some noted lessons from Hoffman.

“Monsignor Bob Hoffman modeled for me how to lead others with great courage and compassion,” said the Rev. Robert Jones of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Sugar Grove in the publication.

“Monsignor Hoffman taught me to be comfortable with my imperfections and let God help me,” answered the Rev. Paul White, now at Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry.

A funeral Mass for Hoffman was Wednesday at St. John Neumann Church.

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