Sr. Mary Roch Rocklage

by Mary Ann McGivern

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Sr. Mary Roch Rocklage, a Sister of Mercy, was named to the Modern Healthcare's HealthCare Hall of Fame last March. Read more here.

I missed that announcement, but it is never too late to sing someone's praises.

Back in 1977 I was one of seven women who opened a Catholic Worker house for women and children. We had an old convent with a dozen or so bedrooms for guests and an attic where we built walls for community bedrooms. We had to clean and paint everything, beg a kitchen stove and beds, plan house management, raise money, etc. We were up to our ears in work.

The phone rang and I answered it. It was Sr. Mary Roch. "What can I do to help?" she asked.

"I don't know," I said. "We have so many donations coming in every day. It's hard to project what we will need and we don't know what we've missed in planning."

"How are you going to wash the sheets and towels?"

Long pause. "Nobody has asked that question. We haven't even thought about laundry."

"We'll take care of it for you."

So every week, for 35 years now, someone from the Karen House Catholic Worker drives out to St. John's Mercy Health Center every week with dirty linen and picks up clean sheets and towels for 40.

Sr. Mary Roch has been in my hall of fame for a long time.

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