MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (WYTV) – When church bells ring, Mary Hake Miller is ready to answer them. She has been a sacristan at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Route 46 in Mineral Ridge since 1967.
Father Richard Murphy says he knows he can count on her to get things done.
“She is the one that keeps things going, practically and truly, here at the parish,” he said. “Mary was the person, and remains the person, who is the guardian of the parish hospitality and the maker of the feast.”
Mary prepares the church for Mass on Wednesday mornings and the weekends.
“Mary’s been my neighbor for like, 40 years, and she is always the kind of person who helps you out no matter what you need done,” said Linda Ferrence, who nominated Mary for the award. “I’ve had some times where I needed help. She’s kind of helped me out and she’s always been there for me, and I see her do it with other people too.”
Mary also distributes communion wafers to people in the community who are unable to make it to Mass, including shut-ins and senior citizens.
“When they call the church and ask for communion, I take communion,” she said. “When you give people communion, you’re going to their homes and you’re bringing God to them.”
Mary’s next task is to prepare the basement of the church with a special altar for Holy Thursday night. She says it makes her feel good to do God’s work.
She has spent her whole life in community service. Mary is retired from the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
When asked if she’ll retire from her volunteer work in the church, she says no. After all, Hometown Heroes don’t retire.