Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Robert J. Hammond

Father Hammond, 88, who was a teacher and principal at Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne and served at several parishes in the diocese, died at Lutheran Hospital.Born April 4, 1923, in Chicago, he was the son of Rupert and Johanna (Ryan) Hammond. Father Hammond attended St. Dorothy School in Chicago as a youngster. His college studies were at Mt. Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Loyola University and Chicago University in Chicago. His seminary studies were at St. Meinrad Seminary in southern Indiana.Father Hammond was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1952, at Sacred Heart Church, Notre Dame, by Bishop Albert F. Cousineau, CSC.His first assignment was teaching at Central Catholic High School, beginning in June 1952. In 1953, he was appointed an assistant at St. John the Baptist Church, Fort Wayne, and continued to teach at Central Catholic. In 1955, he was appointed as assistant at Queen of Angels Church in Fort Wayne while continuing to teach at Central Catholic.On May 31, 1960, Father Hammond was appointed principal of Central Catholic High School. On July 1, 1969, he was appointed the director of religious education for the diocese.Other appointments included pastor of Queen of Angels Church, Fort Wayne, in 1972; pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Fort Wayne in 1974; pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Fort Wayne, in 1977; pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish, Syracuse, in 1980; pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish, New Carlisle, in 1988; and pastor of St. Robert Parish, North Manchester, in 1989.Father Hammond retired on Sept. 1, 1997.Having ministered as associate pastor with Father Hammond at Sacred Heart Parish, Fort Wayne, in the late 1970s, Msgr. Robert Schulte, vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, developed a friendship with Father Hammond that lasted through the years. Msgr. Schulte kept in close contact for several years. He said Father Hammond especially enjoyed pastoral ministry.Msgr. Schulte noted that Father Hammond had an interest in running as a form of exercise, and enjoyed reading. He was an avid reader of TodayGÇÖs Catholic, Msgr. Schulte said, and added that Father Hammond would often send a note to the bishops commenting about a story in the newspaper.Father Hammond enjoyed ministering at nursing homes, especially as he aged. Father Hammond often had a rosary in hand whenever Msgr. Schulte visited. And just five years ago, he replaced his breviary that was worn out.Father Hammond is survived by nieces and cousins who reside in Wisconsin.Information obtained from the TodayGÇÖs Catholic News online, www.todayscatholicnews.org