Sister Roch's Story
Champion of Access to Healthcare For All
Sister Roch’s remarkable career in health care started nearly 60 years ago as a nursing student. Over the years, she held positions of leadership including hospital president, the Mercy health system’s first president and CEO, chair of the board, and today, health ministry liaison and board member. She shepherded Mercy’s transition from individual hospitals to a system, and then to a new form of leadership designed to ensure the future of the health ministry with fewer Sisters of Mercy to serve.
When asked how she had chosen her path, Sister Roch said, “My life has been a continuing calling forth. Our religious community recognizes individual Sisters’ abilities and encourages us. I became involved in organizations when I felt there was a fit and I could do things to help move a situation forward. Anything we have is a gift and we’re to use it to serve others.”
A Woman of Committed Faith & Service
A woman of committed faith with a determined sense of service, Sister Roch served on numerous boards, committees, task forces and councils – from national organizations like the AHA, CHA and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to regional, state and local groups such as the Archdiocese of St. Louis Commission on Human Rights, Healthcare for the Homeless, St. Louis University School of Nursing Advisory Board and Nurses for Newborns.
She also had a long list of accomplishments and awards honoring her achievements including:
- Induction into Modern Healthcare Magazine’s Hall of Fame
- AHA Distinguished Service Award
- CHA’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Sister Mary Roch Rocklage served the ministry for 65 years and passed away on August 23, 2022 following a long illness she endured with grace and tenacity. She was 87.