About - Recent News
Requiescat in Pace
Requiescat in Pace
With great sadness, we share the news of the recent death of Mr Michael Hodgetts, KSG.
Active in a number of distinguished roles across the Archdiocese of Birmingham, particularly in connection with Harvington Hall, Michael was prominent at Maryvale as one of our leading academics, teaching History, Philosophy and Theology across several undergraduate programmes, a member of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences Council, as well as a Fellow in recognition of his invaluable and longstanding contribution to Maryvale.
Michael's commitment to the institute and the formation of its students went far beyond lecturing, drawing on his extensive teaching experience and prolific historical research to provide regular assessment and examination questions, deliver historical tours to visiting students and advise on the ongoing direction of the HIRS programmes.
The funeral Mass for Michael will take place at St Chad’s Cathedral (Birmingham) on Thursday 12th January at 11.00 am.
Rev Dr Michael Cullinan, Director of Maryvale Institute Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, Direct of Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity Programme:
"The sad passing of Michael Hodgetts KSG, Fellow of Maryvale, has been reported in other places, such as the Archdiocese and the Catholic Record Society. What I want to do here is to give some of my memories of him as a friend and colleague at Maryvale.”
"Michael was associated with Maryvale since its inception in 1990. I first came across him as the person responsible for the huge task of organizing the B.A. (Divinity) examinations, proofreading and advising on my suggested questions, sending the papers securely to centres all over the world, and receiving scripts and sending them for marking. Michael did this wisely and efficiently, but he was much more than a capable administrator. He was an accomplished scholar of English recusant Catholic history, with a long list of books and articles to his name, from the days when a Ph.D. was not considered necessary for academic eminence. He was able to teach both philosophy and the whole of church history, writing Coursebooks, and giving lectures and classes until just a few weeks before his death. Part of the pre-Covid undergraduate Church History course was a series of Michael’s field trips to places that illustrate Catholic History such as Tewkesbury Abbey (a medieval Catholic church), Harvington Hall (penal times and second spring), and Birmingham Cathedral (restoration). Well do I remember the rush to depart exactly on time with packed lunches provided by the Sisters. I must have accompanied Michael on dozens of these trips and I never heard the same presentation twice. His knowledge of the details of recusant house economy was amazing – he never used any notes. He also enjoyed telling the students how the relics of St Chad now in the Cathedral were passed to the Jesuits from his remote ancestor’s death bed. Later, when I had to moderate his marking, I encountered the same strict but merciful and reasoned professionalism. Michael was also a musician and hymnographer who wrote a hymn to St John Henry Newman specially for Maryvale chapel. I hope we shall hear it soon again. Michael was a true knight and Catholic gentleman, and we shall all very much miss his amicable kindness and generosity."
Dr Birute Briliute, Dean of Maryvale Institute, Director of Postgraduate Research Programme, Director of Licence in Catechetics:
"Mr. Michael Hodgetts was our beloved colleague and a wonderful friend, so greatly appreciated by all staff and students at Maryvale. Personally, I was blessed to have Michael as my colleague with whom we would spend long hours 'fixing' exam questions for Maryvale's BDiv students every year. So patient, knowledgeable and accurate, I couldn’t have wished for anyone better as a colleague and a friend. He touched the lives of so many through the years."
Sophia Pain, Chair of Maryvale Institute, Trustee of the Archdiocese of Birmingham:
"As Chair of the Maryvale Council, I knew Michael as a longstanding supporter and contributor to the success of the institute over many years. His dedication to teaching Church history, in particular, has informed and inspired the many undergraduates that have passed through the doors of St John Henry Newman's first Catholic home. He will be sadly missed."
Prof. Père Brice de Malherbe, President of Faculté Notre-Dame de Paris:
"I will certainly keep Michael Hodgetts in my prayers.
A fine Christian figure whom I am honoured and grateful to have known.
May he rest in peace."
Dr Tony Brown, Associate Academic:
"I remember Michael most fondly from a BDiv trip to the Norman Tewkesbury Abbey, where he brought the history of the Church to life, captivating students and staff alike with his comprehensive knowledge of the architecture and history of the site. He was even able to persuade abbey staff to open the sacristy, so that we could see the armour taken from the battlefield during the War of the Roses (1471) to strengthen the back of the door. A gifted historian - we're fortunate that he was a prolific author and has left a written legacy that shares much of his research findings."