By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Reverend Ron Crocker of the Trinity Episcopal Church recently celebrated his 50th anniversary as an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. He celebrated with a community of family and friends with an informal party at the church in June.
Crocker is a self-described “Cradle Episcopalian,” meaning he was born and baptized in the faith. Born in 1944 in Quincy, he grew up in Weymouth and went to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
His family had always been active in their church. As young as the age of 7 or 8, he had been involved as an acolyte in the Church.
“There was no flash or moment of great revelation as much as, ‘Ah, that makes sense,’” Crocker explained. “As I looked back and where I was and where I’ve been, this is the track that I wanted to be on.”
He attended seminary at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. He was ordained in 1968.
“That sense of community [at seminary] and the combination of worship, group study, fellowship and working together was really affirming,” he said.
His career includes posts as an associate in Brockton, then as a rector in South Dartmouth. He moved to the diocese of Rhode Island and served as chief of staff to the bishop, and then on to Arlington, Va., where he eventually retired in 2009.
“Every position that I had was better than the previous one and the previous one was very good,” he remarked.
Crocker witnessed significant changes in the church over the years, such as the Vietnam Conflict, women being ordained, and gays in the ministry.
In retirement, he is still actively building community. As the priest-in-charge in Shrewsbury, he has signed on in a part-time capacity as celebrant and to help the development of the parish.
He took part in the team that was sent to work with clergy, families and lay leaders in the diocese of Haiti to help get them back on their feet after the earthquake there.
Crocker lives in Uxbridge with his wife of 51 years. He is the father of four children and grandfather to five. When not tending to his church, he can be found cycling – a lifelong passion.
“This is a prayerful community and when I do liturgy here there is a solemnity to it…its synergistic,” he said. “There is a delicate dialogue going on.”
He encouraged people to come and experience it for themselves.