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Rev. Msgr. Edward V. Rosack

Deceased: 2010-03-02


CSM Graduation Year: 1955

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The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edward V. Rosack, Apostolic Administrator of the then Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, died Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at Jefferson Hospital. It was on July 3, 1967, that he was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese by Cardinal Testa of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental (Eastern European) Church at the Vatican. In December of 1965, Bishop Nicholas T. Elko was summoned to Rome to answer charges made by some 35 priests of the diocese. At this time, The Very Rev. Msgr. (Papal Chamberlain) Rosack was serving as Vicar General of the diocese. The priests were never identified publicly nor were the charges made public. This gave rise to groups who were pro-Elko, anti-Elko, neutralists, foreign-born priests in alliance; those involved were priests, religious, laity, print and broadcast media and the curious. At the height of this conflict, Rosack was appointed Apostolic Administrator (“sede plena”) and his position, by direction of the Vatican, was that this was a matter between Elko and Vatican. “sede plena” means that Bishop Elko remained as the bishop of the dioceses by he was not permitted to act as the bishop. This confusion continued until the appointment of Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko as successor to Bishop Elko in 1968. In his personal recollection of this time, Msgr. Rosack wrote in “The Silent Chapter” that this was truly a genuine byzantine moment. In 1969, he was named a member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Advisory Council. In 1970, Msgr. Rosack was named a Papal Prelate of Honor with the title, Right Reverend Monsignor. He served as the Personal Representative of Bishop Kocisko on the Administrative Board of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops in 1974-1975. After 50 years in the priesthood, he retired in June of 2004, having served on the staffs of Bishops Daniel Ivancho, Nicholas T. Elk Elko, Stephen J. Kocisko and Thomas V. Dolinay successively in various capacities: Vicar General, Consultor, Chancellor, Defender of the Bond of Marriage in Informal Cases, Director of Vocations, Chairman of the youth commission and ad hoc committees studying the questions of priests’ salaries and their pensions. In addition to writing for the bishops, he composed the “Pastor’s Index to the Code of Canons of the Eastern (European) Churches. He also served as editor, “Currents Events” columnist, and editorial writer for the diocesan/ archdiocesan newspaper, “The Byzantine Catholic World.” At the Byzantine Catholic Seminary he was a commuting faculty member, then resident prefect and faculty member. In 1992, Dolinay established central accounting for the parishes and central banking for parish funds. Msgr. Rosack was appointed Director of this Institute for central banking and his board consisted of the Rev. Joseph Chornyak and lay bankers Lynn Taylor, John Vojtovich and John Pete. He was associated with the organization of the ecumenical group, Christian Associates of Western Pennsylvania.He conducted the organizational work and served as Director of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. For 24 years, he served on the Board of Directors of the GCU, a fraternal benefit society, and as Spiritual Director, he regularly wrote an article in its publication, focusing upon the Bible and applying its teaching to contemporary life. He authored “Marriage Prep”, a booklet containing eight articles directly referenced to marriage. “A love which is not tried,” he was fond of saying, “is a love which cannot be perfected.” In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the GCU, he wrote “Scriptural Guidance for Daily Living.” In cooperation with the diocesan program for an increase of vocations to the priestly and religious life, he established for GCU members a prayer program entitled, “Ambassadors for Christ.” From 1960 to 1962, he was administrator of St. Mary’s Church in Bradenville, PA, and from 1973 to 2004, he served as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Ambridge, PA, where he was an active participant with the church’s “Project Pirohy.” For Beaver County, PA, and its historical richness, he founded the Logstown Associates Historical Society on October 21, 1987, and incorporated it on October 29, 1991. It sponsors the American Indian Gathering each October celebrating the culture, history and customs of the Native Americans. Rosack consistently lectured on the Native Americans; he researched their place and influence in American history and wrote a monthly newsletter for its members and for distribution. He was honored with the Cherokee name, “Tsiwoneahadoda,” meaning, “He speaks to God.” Early in his priesthood, returning from studies at the Pontifical Institute for Oriental (Eastern European ) Studies in Rome, he was assigned in 1956, as resident curate, to work for the establishment of Saint Gregory of Nyssa Parish in the nation’s capital. He continued the founding efforts of the commuting Rev. Paul Shogan. On July 29, 1956, Rosack and the Most Rev. Fulton J. Sheen concelebrated the Byzantine Rite Diving Liturgy in Sacred heart Church in Washington, D.C. Saint Gregory of Nyssa has since become the mother church of three additional parishes in the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. He has chosen to be laid to rest in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in recognition of his service in the Signal Corps of the U. S. Army during World War II. He joined the Enlisted Reserve Corps of the Army soon after his high school graduation at Canonsburg, PA, his hometown. The date was December 31, 1943. Called to active duty on January 6, 1944, he trained at Camp Crowder, Missouri, then shipped overseas to the Pacific Theater of Operations where he served for one year, eleven months, and 26 days. During that time, his tour of duty took him to the Hawaiian Islands, the Marshall Islands, (Einewetok, Kwajalein, the Palau Island (Angaur), the Mariana Island (Saipan), the Ryukyu Island (Okinawa), Korea (In chon) and Yokohama, Japan. As a member of the 3922nd Signal Service Company of the 3117th Signal Service Battalion, his outfit was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with one bronze star (Angaur, Palau Islands). He was born on December 23rd, 1925. His family coat of arms states, “To serve is to live.” He did both. Memorial donations can be made to: Logstown Associates Historical Society, 931 Maplewood Ave., Ambridge, PA 15003, 724-266-3971. Arrange ments were handled by the BLAIR-LOWTHER FUNERAL HOME, INC., 305 Rear Independence Street, Perryopolis, PA.