Father Rodney Hall dies; former pastor in Lake Almanor and Alturas

Father Rodney L. Hall, a beloved priest of the Diocese of Sacramento for 33 years, died on May 6 at the age of 85.

The viewing and vigil service will be on Wednesday, May 15 at Calvary Cemetery at 7100 Verner Ave. in Citrus Heights. The viewing will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the vigil will begin at 6 p.m.

Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at the funeral Mass on Tuesday, June 25 at 11 am in St. Patrick Church. The burial will be at 1:45 p.m. at St. Patrick Cemetery.

Father Hall, pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Lake Almanor from 2000 to 2002, and pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Alturas from 1993 to 2000, retired on Sept. 1, 2003 and was named pastor emeritus of Our Lady of the Snows Parish.

He was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 12, 1991 by Bishop Francis A. Quinn. After his ordination, he served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Auburn from January 1991 to May 1993.

Father Hall was born on Aug. 1, 1938 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, the middle child of three born to Francis and Arline Hall (now deceased). He came from a religious Puritan culture and the Hall family were members of the First Congregational Church.

Father Hall spent his childhood years in Saco, Maine, where he attended Locke Primary School and then Thornton Academy in Saco, graduating from high school in 1957. After completing high school, the Hall family moved to Hermosa Beach, CA, in search of a brighter future economically as in Maine the family had a difficult time making ends meet.

Father Hall attended El Camino Junior College, but dropped out of school to get a job, He began working for the May Company department store in Los Angeles, but when asked he decided not to enroll in the junior executive training program they offered him. He then worked for the J.W. Robinson Company in Los Angeles, but also decided not to enter their junior executive training program.

He moved to Sacramento after he was accepted into Sacramento State College. He graduated and completed an extra year of training to obtain a teaching credential for high school and junior college. He began working as a teacher in the Sacramento City Unified School District, but found the teaching profession difficult because of the uncertainty of not knowing whether he would be rehired the next year.

Father Hall decided to return to Manhattan Beach and secured his real estate license, where he and his father worked for the same broker. He eventually left the real estate business and worked in a jewelry store but decided neither real estate nor retail were careers he wanted to pursue.

Father Hall moved to live in Newcastle and filled in as a substitute teacher. Later he moved to Grass Valley to sell fine jewelry on weekends and during the week was a substitute teacher. While living in Grass Valley, he entered the RCIA process at St. Patrick Parish to become Catholic. He attended RCIA classes in 1986 and was baptized, confirmed and received first Communion on March 27,1986.

He spoke with longtime parishioner Mary Grace Tassone about his conversion and in the discussion said  he had thought about the priesthood. Mary Grace suggested that he talk to Bishop Francis Quinn about being a priest.

After talking with Bishop Quinn and Father Thomas Bland, vocations director of the diocese, Father Hall was accepted by the diocese to begin studies for the priesthood at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He studied there for five years and also attended the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Father Hall moved to the Priests' Retirement Village in 2005 and enjoyed his years there, until he later moved to assisted living at Mercy McMahon Terrace in Sacramento.

He is survived by his brother, Daniel Hall.

Much of this article was taken from an article by Father John Boll, former archivist for the Diocese of Sacramento.