June 28, 2019

A life of putting his faith into practice

By John Shaughnessy

Rick RosnerIn a lighthearted moment, Rick Rosner explains the great benefit that serving as the athletic director and gym manager of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield has had upon his marriage of 31 years to his wife, Mary Ann:

“I stay out of trouble because my wife knows exactly where I am and what I’m doing,” says a laughing Rosner, who has served for 24 years in those roles.

Turning serious, the 64-year-old father of two adds, “For me, the perfect day is a Saturday in the gym. I just love watching the games, being around the kids and being around people.”

Then there is the deeper level to all the volunteering that Rosner does.

It’s his way of honoring the spirit of his mother, who always made time to volunteer at the summer festival of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis, even as she was raising six children. He also sees his dedication as a tribute to the late Fred Fath, his basketball coach in eighth grade who never lost his “love for the game and helping kids out.”

“I just admired the way he did things, that he gave that much time of himself,” he says. “It resonated with me that this is something I needed to do.”

What he has done through the years has led him to receiving the 2019 John Bosco Award, the highest honor from the archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).

Beyond being athletic director at St. Susanna, Rosner has coached boys’ basketball and girls’ kickball, basketball and volleyball. The retired middle school teacher has been a member of the parish council, a leader of the parish festival, and a founding member of the men’s club. He also started an intramural program at the school for students in the first-through fourth grades. And he serves on the CYO board.

For Rosner, it’s all a matter of living his faith.

“I don’t preach. I’m not that kind of person. I practice it through my actions. I know what I’m supposed to do, and I do it. You’re supposed to volunteer. You’re supposed to be a good person.

“I enjoy what I’m doing. I’ve made a lot of friends through my volunteering.” †


Related: Archbishop praises CYO honorees for letting God’s grace shine through them

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