Ben Hoyer is the Vice President of SOCA and a convert to the Catholic Faith. Raised in the protestant church, Ben held a variety of minor leadership roles in his youth. He founded a prayer club at his school, worked as a paid intern for his church, and was a leader in his middle school and high school youth groups.Upon graduating high school, Ben went to Wheaton College in Illinois. He started studying philosophy with the interest of becoming a pastor or pursuing a protestant ministry opportunity. During his second full year at Wheaton, Ben began experiencing numbing sensations in his hands and feet. A few months later, these symptoms had progressed to a significant loss of dexterity and mobility in his hands and legs. Ben left Wheaton College to fly home to figure out what was going on. A few weeks later he was diagnosed with MS and began receiving treatment.
During this time he began a paid internship with his local Church where he began to deepen his interest in contemplative spirituality and an appreciation for the theology of in St Thomas Aquinas.
Ben decided not to return to Wheaton but to finish his education at Regis University. He was received into the Catholic Faith in 2016. He continued his education at the Augustine Institute and received a Master’s Degree in Theology in 2019.
During his spiritual and intellectual formation at the Augustine Institute, Ben realized the importance of the life of prayer. Through texts such as Introduction to the Devout Life and Catherine of Sienna’s Dialogue, Ben began pursuing contemplative prayer and implementing the traditional advice of the Catholic Church in pursuing holiness.
Ben has been volunteering his resources and time to assist SOCA since March of 2019 and was eager and honored to become the second fulltime employee in August of 2019 on the Feast of St Robert Bellarmine, the Doctor for the Protestants.