By Catholic Review Staff
Five Redemptorist priests who have given decades of service to the Archdiocese of Baltimore are celebrating pertinent anniversaries of their ordination this year. The following biographical information on the five was supplied by The Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province, who are headquartered in New York.
Father John Hamrogue, 50 years
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y, Father Hamrogue was ordained to the priesthood on June 23, 1963. After teaching and serving as prefect of students at the Redemptorists’ St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, Conn., in 1978, he was associate pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis from 1978 to 1981. After serving a parish in Philadelphia and as a mission preacher and retreat master, he served in Redemptorist missions in the Caribbean. In 2005, he returned to St. Mary’s in Annapolis to work with the parish’s Hispanic community, and has been an associate pastor in Philadelphia since 2010.
Father Richard Poetzel, 50 years
A Baltimore native, Father Poetzel was ordained on June 23, 1963. He served for 20 years at the Redemptorists’ major seminary, Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus, N.Y., as a librarian, professor of liturgical theology, academic dean, and acting president. In 1985, he was appointed rector of the St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the Redemptorists’ home for confreres needing skilled-nursing care. In 1987, he was transferred to his home parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus in Highlandtown. In 1993, he was assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Baltimore, where he continues to serve as an associate pastor.
Father Charles Hergenroeder, 40 years
A native of Baltimore, Father Hergenroeder was ordained on June 17, 1973. He served 14 years year in the Redemptorists’ missions in Brazil, in and around Campo Grande. After a sabbatical year, he returned to Brazil in 1989 for another 12 years. In 2002, he was assigned to St. James Parish in Newark, N.J., where Redemptorists from the Campo Grande Province minister to a significant Portuguese-speaking population. In 2005, he was assigned associate pastor of St. Peter the Apostle in Philadelphia, and in 2008 moved to since-closed St. Michael’s Parish in Fells Point. From 2009 to 2011, he served Sacred Heart of Jesus in Highlandtown, then became associate pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seaford, Del.
Father Eric Hoog, 40 years
A Philadelphia native, Father Hoog was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1973. After serving parishes in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the U.S. Virgin Islands, he was assigned to St. Mary’s in Annapolis, where he began preparations to enter the U.S. Navy as a chaplain. From 1998 to 2007, he served several Marine units on domestic bases and during international deployments, including deployments to East Timor in 1999 and 2001, tsunami relief in Indonesia in 2004, and Baghdad in 2005. In 2007, he returned to St. Mary’s as associate pastor. In 2011, he began a one-year assignment as Catholic chaplain to the Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and in 2012 was appointed associate pastor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Ephrata, Pa.
Father John Murray, 40 years
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Father Murray was ordained on June 17, 1973. He worked as vocation director for the Baltimore Province from 1974 to 1981, when he was appointed pastor of St. Wenceslaus in East Baltimore. From 1987 to 1993, he was pastor of St. Mary’s in Annapolis, then was appointed rector of the Redemptorists’ San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, N.J. From 1999 to 2010, he served as parish mission coordinator for the province. In August 2010, he suffered a paralyzing fall while on his daily walk. Despite being paralyzed from the chest down and told he’d never walk again, Father Murray gradually regained much of his mobility, now using crutches and a wheelchair to get around. He has been in residence at his home parish, the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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May 17, 2013 CatholicReview.org