Rockford Priest Honored by Seminary
April 6, 2023
ROCKFORD—Father Ricardo Hernandez, parochial vicar at St. Bernadette Parish, was recently inducted into the Academic Circle of Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.
 
He attended the university’s seminary and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas G. Doran on May 20, 2000. 
 
The university noted Father Hernandez’s service to the Diocese of Rockford during the COVID-19 pandemic. His “zeal and courage” in this ministry earned him the title of 
“COVID Priest.”
 
At the beginning of the pandemic, Father Hernandez was one of the priests who volunteered to minister to patients with the illness in hospitals, working with hospital staff to gain permission to visit. He anointed many patients who were ill and dying in isolation in various Rockford hospitals. Father Hernandez was often the only line of contact these patients had with their family members. 
 
His service also ensured that priests who were susceptible to serious side effects would be protected from virus exposure. 
 
“Father Hernandez has earned the respect and admiration of his brother priests and is a shining example to our seminarians and to the Mount community,” read his award.  
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