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45 years on the job, and never worked a day

By MICHELLE DELANEY, Globe staff reporter

Rosie Sporrer has never worked a day in her life, but recently she celebrated 45 years as secretary for Holy Angels Church of Roselle, St. Augustine Church of Halbur and Sacred Heart Church of Templeton.

“I have a little sign on my door that says, ‘if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I guess that’s just the way it’s been,” chuckled Sporrer.

Sporrer graduated from Kuemper Catholic School in Carroll in 1966. There she took typing and shorthand classes and even passed her civil service test with the sisters at Kuemper.

“Back in that time, college was unheard of. You just graduated, bought a car and got a job,” she said.
Around the time of her high school graduation, Msgr. AW Behrens came to Templeton and was in need of a secretary. Hired May of 1966, Sporrer has been working as the secretary ever since.

A lot has changed in her personal and work life over the years. When her mother passed away in 1968, she raised her younger siblings while still working for the church. Now, a wife, a mother of four and a grandmother of seven, she still finds the time to do her very best at her job.

“She is super to work with. She is very efficient in what she does. She knows parishioners’ names. Overall, she is very effective as a secretary,” said Father Steve Brodersen, the pastor for St. Augustine, Holy Angels and Sacred Heart churches.

When Sporrer first started as secretary, technology was nothing like it is today. Instead of using a computer, everything was typed on a typewriter. Every letter needing a copy had a carbon and an onionskin paper. Also, there was no automatic cranker for printing the bulletins, they had to be hand cranked.

“Back then we were really tied to the rectory. You never left the phone unattended. There were so many sick calls or priest calls, you always had to know where the priest was at.”

Now there are computers, copiers, printers, email and cell phones to help make her job easier.

Over her 45-year span as secretary, numerous things have changed in the parishes. Sporrer worked in the Templeton rectory for 15 years before it was torn down. She also used to do the bookwork for the grade schools in the area before low enrollment forced them to close down. She has even worked with approximately 10 different parish pastors over the years.

“Everyday, it’s just fun to go to work,” said Sporrer. “The people are so nice and good to me. I try to help everyone. The way you treat people, that’s how they’ll treat you back. People have been very good to me over the years.”

A normal day consists of going to 8 a.m. Mass, doing bookwork, secretary work, checking messages and mail and traveling between the three parishes throughout the day. Furthermore, she has typed up the bulletin every week for 45 years. Somehow, Rosie Sporrer finds a way to keep everything running smoothly.

“She is always helpful with everything, all the different activities of the parish even the volunteer types of things,” said Father Brodersen.

In addition to working at the church, Sporrer also finds time to volunteer for the parish. She is a member of the Guild, Catholic Daughters and helps with funeral lunches. With the recent paint job of the Sacred Heart Church in Templeton, Sporrer was asked to help touch up of the statues. She and a friend, in their spare time, fixed, plastered and painted the statues.

“It’s a good job, I love it. I just love it.”

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