James Hodkinson SJ
James entered the Society as a Brother in 1946. Born in Manchester, affectionately known as 'Hoddie', James' sense of vocation grew with his time at the Holy Name parish in Manchester. Br Philip Watt SJ, who worked in the Jesuit parish, was an early inspiration for Hoddie, mainly through his example as a cook and working quietly behind the scenes. Often in the evening, after school, Hoddie and other friends would go to the church and help out, answering the door, putting the supper out. Philip had a great ministry of encouraging these young men. The Holy Name had a very active social club attracting some famous Mancunians, Sir Matt Busby used to enjoy chatting to Hoddie as he was the only one not interested in football. Following in Br Philip's footsteps, Hoddie became a legendary cook at Manresa in Roehampton, and at the 'Old' Heythrop in Oxfordshire. This was no mean feat, often cooking for over two hundred hungry Jesuits, in the days of rationing, and before deep freezers. Hoddie was the last minister of the Old Heythrop, this was a ministry that involved a lot of creativity, hard work and ingenious foraging.
Hoddie says, " The great point of a brothers vocation in the Jesuits, is that it is open to whatever talents you have, from running the house to Papal astronomer.' Some of Hoddie's happiest years were spent working in the parish in Boscombe in the 80's. It was a very forward looking parish and had a great team. Reflecting on his many jobs, certainly its true that life is not always a bed of roses, but in the end his experience as a Jesuit was always very satisfying. ' There have been great Brothers in the past, martyrs, spiritual writers, artists, brothers with great talents in various works, but all of them with a great prayer life.