On the job: Parish Sacristan celebrates 96th birthday

By The Catholic Accent
– Eleanor Hamrock points to a pew at Holy Cross Parish in Youngwood as the spot she remembers her parents sitting. Hamrock has been a parishioner her entire life and has devoted her time in service to the parish. On June 6, she celebrates her 96th birthday, beginning with Mass and assisting Father Rogelio I. Rodriguez as Sacristan.

She began her service to the parish full time after she retired in the 1990s. Before that, she would help her father, who was the parish custodian, on weekends. She is never far from the parish, living in the same house in which she was born, two blocks away.
As Sacristan, Hamrick is at the parish just before 7 a.m., preparing the books and vestments for Father Rodriguez and preparing the sanctuary for Mass. During the week, she is an altar server.

Hamrock knows the history of the parish, from the priests who served to what the church looked like before it was renovated in the early 1960s.
“The Church is my life,” she says with a smile. “It’s a job, but I love my job, and the priests have all been nice.”
“She knows everything,” said Father Rodriguez. “You would need 10 persons to replace her. How could you replace Eleanor?”
She has no plans to retire; in fact, she just renewed her driver’s license.


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