Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

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Fr. Harold Hammerstein, 89, dies January 18

January 21, 2013

pic_news_obit_harold_hammer.jpgFr. Harold Hammerstein, OSB, monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died on January 18, 2013, at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Evansville, IN. He was 89. He was a jubilarian of profession and priesthood.

Surviving are a niece and a nephew.

Fr. Harold was born in Evansville on October 13, 1923, to Frederick and Esther (Taylor) Hammerstein, and was named Frederick John Jr. After completing his elementary education at St. Benedict Grade School in Evansville, he entered high school at Saint Meinrad, where he continued his education through college.

He joined the Saint Meinrad monastery as a novice on August 5, 1943, and professed his simple vows on August 10, 1944. He did his theological studies at the Collegio di Sant' Anselmo, Rome, Italy. His solemn vows as a monk of Saint Meinrad were received at Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland, on September 8, 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood at Einsiedeln on July 10, 1948.

Upon his return from Rome, Fr. Harold taught theology in the Major Seminary for one year and served as assistant athletic director. He worked as assistant campus director of the Minor Seminary for five years, and for a number of years taught special Latin in the Minor Seminary.

From 1968 to 1974, he served as the Catholic chaplain of the federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, IN. He then served three years as pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Leopold, IN, including the missions of St. Mary, Derby, and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Perry County. In 1978, he moved to Evansville, where he assisted at St. Benedict Parish (now Cathedral) and other parishes as needed.

Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Meinrad Archabbey, 200 Hill Dr., St. Meinrad, IN, 47577; the Reverend Harold Hammerstein, O.S.B. Endowment Fund at St. Benedict's Cathedral, 1328 Lincoln Ave., Evansville, IN 47714; or the Little Sisters of the Poor, 1236 Lincoln Ave., Evansville, IN 47714.

The Office of the Dead will be prayed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, in the Archabbey Church, followed by visitation until 9 p.m. Visitation on Wednesday will be from 8 to 9:45 a.m. in the Archabbey Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. All times are Central Time.