The longtime pastor of Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville has died. Father William Hembrow apparently died in his sleep on Tuesday and was found in his home in after not showing up on time for morning Mass. He was 84 and was planning a celebration for his 40th year at Holy Ghost later this month.
Hembrow became a priest in 1960, and served at parishes in Decatur, Springfield, St. Mary's in Alton, and Pierron before arriving in Jerseyville in 1976. He served as pastor of Holy Ghost and St. Mary's in Fieldon until 2007 when he became the Parochial Administrator of both. Hembrow is being remembered as a kind, friendly priest who was welcoming to Catholics and non-Catholics. Those who were married by Father Hembrow said they will remember his humor, and advice on life and love. A funeral visitation will take place Thursday from 3-8pm at Holy Ghost Catholic Church with a funeral Mass Friday at 6:30pm at the church.