The Rev. Mark Hoffman sat in a small, unadorned office at St. Thomas Parish and looked around.

His black jacket was nowhere to be found.

It’s no wonder. The new pastor of the Corry Catholic Community that comprises St. Thomas and St. Elizabeth parishes has been in the city for only a few days. Piles of boxes still remain to be unpacked and the 52-year-old priest is still getting acquainted with his new home.

Hoffman’s jacket eventually turned up on the back of a chair in another room. Although he’s still making his way, Hoffman is glad to be in Corry.

“The people here are very, very kind,” said Hoffman, who was reared in Erie. “The culture of Corry is not like the culture in bigger cities. They are not pretentious people. They are kind people.”

Hoffman recently was appointed by Erie Catholic Bishop Donald Trautman to serve a six-year term as pastor of the Corry Catholic Community. He replaces the Rev. Tom Brown, who in July was appointed the new pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Eldred, St. Theresa Parish in Shinglehouse and St. Mary Mission in Sartwell. Msg. Casimir Bogniak had been serving in Corry since Brown’s departure.

Its been a hectic few months for Hoffman, who since July has been pastor of four parishes.

In July, Hoffman left his four-year pastorship at Grove City’s Church of the Beloved Disciple Parish to become pastor of Erie’s St. Jude Parish. That assignment ended in January, when the bishop appointed him as pastor of St. Brigid Parish in Meadville.

“I was never even installed,” Hoffman said with a laugh. “That was just where my bags landed.”

See Saturday, February 18, 2012 issue of The Journal for complete story.

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