Monsignor Robert Joseph Hofstetter, a priest of 68 years and faithful to the very end, passed away at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville on Thursday July 7, 2022. He was 94 years old. Msgr. Bob was born on November 19, 1927, to Oscar B. and Marguerite S. Hofstetter. He was one of six children. He received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation at Holy Name Church in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from Father Ryan High School where he lettered in four sports, he attended the University of Notre Dame for three years, before being accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Nashville. His seminary formation took place at Theological College in Washington, D.C. He was ordained on May 1, 1954, for the Diocese of Nashville by Bishop Adrian at the Cathedral of the Incarnation and said his first mass at Holy Name Catholic Church in East Nashville.
Msgr. held many and various assignments throughout his 68 years of Priesthood. In his early years he served at several parishes in the Diocese of Nashville, including Pastor at St. Joseph Parish, as well as chaplain and math teacher at Father Ryan High School, chaplain to the Little Sisters and Aquinas Junior College. He was the director of the Diocesan Summer Camp Marymount as well. He was named pastor of St. Mary’s in Oak Ridge in June of 1974. He later served as pastor of Sacred Heart in Knoxville, St. Augustine in Signal Mountain, St. Jude in Chattanooga, and Good Shepherd in Newport. Msgr. Bob was incardinated in the Diocese of Knoxville upon its creation on September 8, 1988.
In addition to his work in parishes, he served as Dean of the Five Rivers Deanery, Diocesan Censor Librorum, member and later chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Ecumenism. He was the first chairman of the Priestly Life and Ministry Committee and was a Diocesan Consultor. He also published two books of poetry, reflections, and photographs; Love Pages and Reflections, In Gratitude for 88 years of life and 61 years of Priesthood.
Msgr. Bob was beloved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He always had an encouraging word or funny quip to offer. He was a prolific writer of poetry. His regular emails will be missed, which included everything from his Sunday homilies to beautiful pictures of nature or short video clips he found interesting and inspiring from the internet.
He was preceded in death by his parents, O.B. Hofstetter and Marguerite Sanders Hofstetter; brothers, O.B.Hofstetter, Jr., John C. Hofstetter, William S. Hofstetter; sisters, Sr. Adrian Marie, OP, Sr. Margaret Marie, OP.; nephews, John C. Hofstetter Jr., and George B. Hofstetter.
Msgr. Bob is survived by his nephews and nieces, O.B. Hofstetter, III, Robert B. Hofstetter, James C. Hofstetter, Christian S. Hofstetter, Mary Beth Adgent, Katherine H. Elcan, William S. Hofstetter, Jr., Julie H. Fisher, Barbara H. Sneed, David C. Hofstetter and Holly H. Spell, and by numerous great nephews and nieces.
A wake will be held at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Knoxville on Friday, July 15, 2022, beginning at 1:00pm, with Funeral Mass to start at 3:00 pm. Bishop Stitka officiating. A second wake will be held on Monday, July 18, 2022, at Church of the Good Shepherd in Newport at 10:00 am, mass beginning at 11:00 am with inurnment at the parish columbarium to follow.
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