ROBERT (KENAN) HOZIE
1995 Christian Life Award Recipient
Robert Hozie, perhaps better known to most as Brother Kenan, was born in Streator, Illinois in 1926. After initially attending Streator High School, Bob entered the Franciscan formation process at St. Francis Seminary. Bob completed his undergraduate studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1951 with a major in English. In 1956 he received his Masters of Education in English from Xavier University. The focus of his studies in Graduate work was in English, Latin, History, Social Studies, Remedial and Developmental Reading, Communication Arts, Guidance and Counseling.
His Graduate studies prepared him well for one of his earliest and longest assignments, namely, educating high school young boys beginning in the Franciscan formation process at St. Francis Seminary. During the years 1951 to 1970, Bob used his training to instruct hundreds of young boys in grammar and use of the English language, and he encouraged and directed some into remedial and developmental reading programs that helped change the course of their lives.
After a serious automobile accident in 1970, Bob left St. Francis Seminary and entered Parish Ministry at St. Anthony Parish in Streator. From 1978 to 1989 Bob served as Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph Church in Roanoke, Illinois, at St. John's Church in Benson, Illinois and then at St. Boniface Parish, in Lafayette, Indiana.
In late 1990 Bob cofounded with Dennis Borca the Kolbe Project in Houston, Texas. The Kolbe House is a known as a special place of ministry and spirituality for the gay and lesbian community and for people with HIV/AIDS. The services provided by this facility include spiritual direction/counseling, recovery counseling, support groups, retreats and spiritual renewal days, worship services, hospital/home visiting, adult education, workshops, reconciliation services, healing services, and memorial services and social gatherings. People of all faiths are welcome to the services without charge.
In 1999, Bob sent this note to the Franciscan Alumni Association:
I am Bob Hozie, O.F.M., formerly known as Kenan Hozie. I was assigned to St. Francis Seminary from 1951 to 1970. During that time I worked very closely and even directly with Fr. Aubert and the Glee Club.