Catholic, Christian, Interfaith
People Are Still Talking About Him!Reviewed on 12/01/2014
I finally have to get around to reviewing Father Rich, even though our wedding was months ago. But the passage of those months just brings us more and more positive commentary about him. As a Catholic couple (even met on Catholic Match) my husband and I wanted to get married in the Church. He needed an annulment from a previous long-ago marriage. The Church told him, after a year or so, that he would probably have the Tribunal's decision no later than September, so we planned a wedding for November - there were several important reasons why we wanted it earlier rather than later. Long story somewhat shorter, the Church was mistaken and it got stuck on a desk for 2 months. We postponed the wedding until March, which caused all sorts of problems, but it was important to get it done right. Of course it turned out the Church was again off and no one could help and we were not about to change the date again. A priest I know said to contact this group of former priests and we did. Someone from Connecticut was going to do the ceremony (he refused to do a Mass). However, he was suddenly unable to do it for medical reasons and recommended Father Rich. Although we were in the New Haven area, he was perfectly willing to come, do a Mass, with Eucharist, and he went through everything with us, had us pick our prayers, etc., made great suggestions. We rented the Congregational Church on the green in town; he suggested a harpist whom we hired - she was wonderful. My husband wanted a specific reading which I thought was inappropriate for a wedding, but when he told Father Rich why he wanted it, Father Rich said he thought it was right for him to have it, and he'd work it in. "People will wonder why we have this reading at a wedding," I said. He replied, "Not when I'm done, they won't." And it fit perfectly. My maid of honor's mother will not receive Communion in a non-Catholic environment...but she received from Father Rich, whom she loved. My brother said that months later he was still talking about him ("he was great...too bad there aren't more like him..") I heard nothing but complements and awe from everyone who mentioned him - which was a considerable number. I was pleased that he was able to attend our reception. Father Rich will always have a special place in our lives. Although we did have the marriage convalidated in the Catholic Church (the annulment came through in late April) we feel we did indeed "do it right" the first time, and that is thanks to Father Rich.
Beautiful Ceremony!Reviewed on 9/06/2014 Andrea V
My (now) husband and I were really set on having both the ceremony and reception at our house and property. We also really wanted a Christian ceremony, and since I was raised Roman Catholic, only a Catholic officiant felt right to me. The problem is that my husband is divorced from a previous marriage, and a priest will not perform a wedding outside of a church. Two strikes! That’s when I went online and learned about the CITI community of former Catholic priests who left the priesthood to get married, and how I found Fr. Rich, a former Catholic priest who now serves as a pastor of the Clarkstown Reformed Church and regularly performs marriage ceremonies. After sifting through Fr. Rich’s extensive website, I became more and more drawn to his style. Then, after meeting with him my husband and I both took a liking to his personality and felt comfortable with him. He asked us about how we met and what we are like as people and as a couple, then we met with him twice more to plan our ceremony. He knows wedding ceremonies inside and out and always had plenty of suggestions for us to choose from so that we could have a traditional ceremony that nevertheless suited our own personal style. Well, come the actual wedding ceremony, I was blown away at how wonderful it went! Fr. Rich put together an intimate portrait of us as a couple that he worked into the ceremony with a delicate balance of warmth and wit. Many guests commented on how lovely the ceremony was and specifically what a wonderful officiant we had. One thing I’ll say is that I think Fr. Rich is an excellent choice for a couple looking for a more traditional type of ceremony. Although he was quite flexible in the details and wanted us to feel that the ceremony reflected us on a personal level, he did not seem to be in favor of straying too far from the traditional model. For us, this was perfect—just what we wanted. The result was a ceremony that was expressive of us and our relationship, yet also felt like part of the larger history and tradition of marriage.
Very NiceReviewed on 1/17/2012 Amy C
Fr. Rich is great. He is calming and definetly puts you at ease.
An awful experienceReviewed on 12/27/2011 Dominic F
I would never recommend Father Rich to anyone. I gave him the lowest ratings on all categories, and I believe these to be accurate appraisals of his service in my case. Responsiveness - from the beginning, Father Rich was difficult to contact. He does not answer emails in a timely manner. Additionally, his cell phone voicemail is chronically full for some reason. This is probably due to other people, like myself, trying to contact him. If you really want to contact him in a hurry, call his parish. Flexibility - My wife and I were set to meet him twice during my engagement, once in person and once via an internet video chat. The first time in person, he did not show up to his office. We literally sat in his office (a parish staff member let us in) for 30 minutes. We called and emailed him during this time and did not hear back from him until the next day. Since I lived a few states a way and my wife was visiting from out of the country, this was very inconvenient. When he rescheduled to do a video chat, he canceled 5 minutes before the call. This happened to be while my wife and I were on vacation, basically blowing our evening. This was after repeated emails asking him to confirm the call. Value - As you can probably tell by now, we did not use Father Rich in the end. We found another pastor who was amazing and did it for half the price of Father Rich. Giving this man a deposit was probably the worst move I made in wedding planning, and hiring the other pastor was one of the best moves. Quality of service - as you can tell from above, this is poor. Since we did not use him in the end and had to get our deposit refunded, I can not vouche for his work as a minister - we never made it that far! Professionalism - if there was a negative scale, I would certainly rate him -5 for this. After our two unsuccessful meetings, I had lost all confidence in Fr. Rich. When you're planning a wedding, especially a logistically challenging one as mine was, you need things to be as simple and foolproof as possible. I had no confidence that Fr. Rich was going to show up. My only experience with him was breaking appointments or not showing up all together. I would have to have been insane to use him after that happened. What really got me angry, is how he handled the refund of my deposit. After I explained to him how I was not going to be using his service any longer, he agreed to refund my money. Well a few weeks went by and there was no refund. I emailed him, and I got no response. I then called him. He told me it was on the way. I still received nothing after two weeks. I finally resorted to calling him at his parish. I explained that he promised my refund over a month ago and he said it was coming and then hung up the phone on me! He then would not answer the phone, instead he had a female parish staffer screen calls for him. It took calls from both my wife and me to the staffer to take my address (which I had already emailed him and was on our original contract) and send the check. Notice this man was such a coward that he would not get on the phone with me. This final experience with Fr. Rich is a true illustration of the professionalism, or, rather, lack thereof, that this man exhibits. I see there are a number of reviews in which people had a good experience with him. Perhaps he was going through a rough patch in his life or was just overburdened with work. I really don't know the situation, but frankly, I really don't care becaus
A Wedding NightmareReviewed on 11/13/2011 Heather D
I am on this site again to hire an officiant to renew our vows BECAUSE OF THIS MAN. Back in 07, he no showed at our Rehearsal Dinner and our wedding the following day. He claimed he had a death in the family and had to fly to Florida but in a later conversation mentioned that the flight was not taking place until Sunday (our wedding was Saturday). He was paid in full and after months of meeting and preparation, he sent us a "replacement" priest who could not pronouce my name (Heather) and the entire ceremony was him speaking of Jesus being nailed to a tree. I kid you not - I have the video. Father Rich would not reimburse us or even offer us a refund of some of our money. It is for this reason alone, my husband and I are looking to renew our vows...our wedding was ruined. DO NOT HIRE HIM!
Great Priest that Will Travel!Reviewed on 11/10/2011 Renae B
Father Rich is a wonderful officiant that I recently used to perform my wedding ceremony. My husband's family is catholic, and having a priest officiate our wedding was very important to both him and his family. I had always dreamed of having my wedding outside, and since a catholic priest will only perform a ceremony within the Catholic Church, that presented a bit of problem. Luckily I came across Father Rich, a man that was once a priest, but has since left the Catholic Church. It was a match made in heaven for us; a man that can perform an outdoor wedding, with ties to the Catholic Church! He did an incredible job creating the perfect ceremony for us, one that was both warm and intimate. I would definitely recommend Father Rich Hasselbach to all brides-to-be looking for a flexible officiant willing to create the perfect ceremony just for you!
Perfect Officiant!Reviewed on 8/16/2011 Adrienne G
Father Richard Hasselbach recently performed our ceremony on July 24, 211. It couldn't have been more perfect, except for the heat...lol! Father was so personable and gave us a great memory and all family and friends that attended are still calling us to say that it was so wonderful. He is a wonderful man and from the first time wa met him we knew that we wanted him to marry us. Thank you Father Rich and God Bless you always! Adrienne and Kurt Cottrell
nice ceremonyReviewed on 8/07/2011 Holly R
Rev. Hasselbach did a very nice ceremony for us. He did everything we wanted and hoped for. Sometimes he was hard to get a hold of and I did have to email more than once to get a reply a few times. But he did a nice job and we were very happy with him.
Wonderful Officiant!Reviewed on 5/21/2011 Adrienne Z
Fr. Rich was the officiant for my wedding. I was raised Catholic and my husband does not associate with any particular religion. Fr. Rich meet with us many times to get to know us. He is very personable and has a wonderful sense of humor! He made the whole process comfortable and relaxing for us. Most importantly, he helped us make our ceremony the way we wanted it!
Very AccomodatingReviewed on 2/10/2011 Ginny B
He met with us as his house twice and we talked about marriage, life, all of it - and it was fantastic. The only bloop was that things at the ceremony were slightly different than what we had talked about beforehand - and it resulted in my dad giving an impromptu speech on the dance floor about what was missing. Yegads. Otherwise, it would have been five stars because he's an incredibly nice person and really took time to speak to us at length.
almost perfectReviewed on 2/02/2011 Jessica S
he was reat un til rehearsal dinner.. where he kinda freaked on my bridal party warnign them that if they showed up the the wedding drunk they woud lokk like asses.. not appreciated by the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer. but he was on time for the wedding and we are married now! $$$ about $600 for services
faith, hope, and loveReviewed on 12/04/2010 jen k
Faith, hope, and love were instilled in the foundation of our journey. Father Rich was able to reach not just us but our guests - invoking love and humor (as chuckles arose from the crowd), and kept it simple. He transitioned our requests for different traditions in the ceremony to flow smoothly.