May 24, 2024

Love and beauty found in holiness and worship attract future priest to his vocation

Carrying the Book of the Gospels, transitional Deacon Samuel Rosko processes on Oct. 7, 2023, into the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad at the start of a Mass in the seminary. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Archabbey)

Carrying the Book of the Gospels, transitional Deacon Samuel Rosko processes on Oct. 7, 2023, into the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad at the start of a Mass in the seminary. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Archabbey)

By Sean Gallagher

Transitional Deacon Samuel Rosko’s journey to the priesthood is a love story marked by beauty.

From a young age, he’s grown in love of Christ through the beauty of the Church’s worship, history and traditions. And as he’s been formed for the priesthood during the past seven years, he’s also grown in love for the Catholics across central and southern Indiana.

Now, on the verge of his ordination on June 1 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, Deacon Rosko looks forward to drawing these people into the love story that’s captured his heart.

He’ll embark on this mission on July 3, when he begins ministry as parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis.

‘I really fell in love’

Deacon Rosko’s love of Christ and the Church began as a child in his home, where he lived with his parents and his younger brother and two younger sisters.

“We lived and breathed Catholicism,” he said. “We prayed the rosary as a family and prayed before meals. My parents instilled that in us through their own life of faith, their own love for the Lord. They’ve been nothing but supportive and encouraging of my vocation.”

He and his family were members of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood when he received his first Communion. Shortly after that, he was trained as an altar server by Father Jonathan Meyer, the parish’s parochial vicar at the time.

“I always really loved it,” Deacon Rosko recalled. “I remember thinking as I saw his example and his witness that I wanted to do that. I wanted to be a priest.”

When he was a sixth grader, Deacon Rosko, his parents and siblings became members of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis. He was also enrolled at that time at Lumen Christi Catholic School, which is adjacent to Holy Rosary.

Students at Lumen Christi, then and now, attend Mass daily, including regularly worshipping at Mass as celebrated in Latin according to the missal of 1962.

Deacon Rosko recalled how he “really fell in love” with this tradition-laden form of the Mass as he learned more about it at Lumen Christi and was taught how to serve at it.

“I really loved the reverence,” he said. “Everything is ordered for this one purpose of worshipping God. The order of serving was very appealing to me as a middle school kid.”

This growth in love for the Mass opened Deacon Rosko to a loving relationship with Christ.

“As I learned to love the Latin Mass more and more, the Lord just drew me closer to himself through the Mass,” he said, “through the reverence, through the beauty, through the prayers, through everything about it.

“It was just something that was really crucial to my spiritual life. My whole spiritual life just kind of exploded at this point, because I was starting to really pray for the first time.”

A vocation growing in clarity

This deepening of his life of faith led Deacon Rosko while a student at Lumen Christi Catholic High School to think more deeply about the priesthood.

“The two were always kind of intertwined,” Deacon Rosko said. “They were never really separated. Pretty much all throughout high school, I more or less felt that God was calling me to be a priest.”

Mary Rose Collins, Lumen Christi’s high school principal at the time, could also see the possibilities of a priestly vocation in him.

“I got the confidence from Sam that he was going to be a priest, even early on,” Collins recalled. “So, I filed that away and watched how that would work out with Sam. His zeal for theology and Church history made me think that he really might actually become a priest.”

Collins noticed other qualities in Deacon Rosko that were helpful for her and his fellow high school students. He researched different aspects of Church history and teaching, and shared what he learned with others. Deacon Rosko also helped in the travel plans of Lumen Christi’s annual high school pilgrimage, making sure the students would visit and take part in liturgies in historic churches.

“It was very impressive how he was always giving to others and using his talents, which are many and varied talents, to help us at the school,” Collins said. “I leaned on him for his organizational skills, especially when we were doing our pilgrimage every year.”

After graduating from Lumen Christi in 2016, Deacon Rosko spent a year at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. During that time, though, his thoughts about the priesthood crystallized enough that he applied to become and was accepted as an archdiocesan seminarian.

“Basically, every time I was in prayer, in every conversation, it became very clear to me that the Lord wanted me to join the seminary for our archdiocese,” Deacon Rosko recalled of his time at Christendom.

Riding on the ‘Sam Rosko train’

Deacon Rosko received priestly formation for three years at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis while also taking classes at nearby Marian University.

During that time, he came to be friends with transitional Deacon Liam Hosty, who expects to be ordained an archdiocesan priest in June 2025. They spent the spring semester in 2019 together in Rome.

Like Collins, Deacon Hosty valued his friend’s planning skills that helped them both drink in the beauty of Catholic heritage in churches across Europe.

“He definitely has a charism of administration and practicality, for sure,” Deacon Hosty said. “When we were in Rome, he planned all of our weekend trips. I was on the Sam Rosko train. It was amazing.”

Deacon Hosty’s appreciation of Deacon Rosko, though, goes far beyond his logistical skills.

“I think Sam has a lot of virtues worthy of emulation,” Deacon Hosty said. “We’ve been able to build each other up and encourage each other primarily toward reverence for our Lord. Sam is very genuine and authentic. There’s definitely a continuity in all the aspects of Sam’s life. There’s a seamless thread. Sam is the same in the kitchen as he is in Rome, as he is in the chapel.”

Building up fraternity with other seminarians and archdiocesan priests is something that Father Timothy Wyciskalla saw in Deacon Rosko when the seminarian spent the summer of 2023 at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, where Father Wyciskalla serves as pastor.

“He enjoyed going out to eat or simply just being together in that kind of fraternity,” Father Wyciskalla said. “He had a few of his fellow seminarians who were assigned nearby that he would get together quite often with. He’s a man of community, and I think he’ll fit into our priestly fraternity quite well.”

“There’s something really powerful about a large group of guys all kind of on the same trajectory with the same kind of goal and purpose, the same desire to grow in holiness, to grow closer to Christ,” Deacon Rosko said about his years of priestly formation, including the last four at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in

St. Meinrad. “In my seminary years, I’ve made lots of really good and deep friendships with holy guys who kind of inspired me to grow deeper in holiness.”

‘Beauty in the life of holiness’

Now he looks forward to ministering among the many holy Catholics of central and southern Indiana whom he’s met in his years of preparation for ordained ministry.

In the summer after graduating from Bishop Bruté, Deacon Rosko lived at St. Gabriel Parish in Connersville, his first prolonged experience of the Church in the archdiocese outside of Indianapolis.

“Getting to fall in love with the people of Connersville, to walk with them as they grew closer to the Lord was a really important experience,” he recalled. “That experience confirmed, in a lot of ways, my vocation to the diocesan priesthood. Every parish assignment I’ve had in the archdiocese has furthered that confirmation.”

Deacon Rosko’s other ministry assignments while a seminarian included serving at St. Mark and St. Simon the Apostle Parish, both in Indianapolis, and St. Mary-of-the-Knobs Parish in Floyd County.

“Some of the holiest people I’ve known have been laypeople who are on fire for Christ and living really holy lives,” Deacon Rosko said. “I’ve been really edified by their witness to prayer and to virtue and to works of service.”

While Deacon Rosko has met many faith-filled lay Catholics, he also knows today’s society is becoming more secular. Drawing people back to the faith and the Church will be part of his mission as a priest.

“The way to reach people in our current culture, in our current age, is through beauty,” he said. “There’s really no other more effective way. But beauty is at the service of something deeper. It’s at the service of a relationship with Christ.”

With the help of God’s grace, Deacon Rosko hopes to give archdiocesan Catholics a beautiful witness of faith through his life and ministry as a priest.

“If the priest is living a life of holiness in the world and is engaging people and trying to minister to them and to give them that example, people will be attracted to that,” he said. “That’s what the saints did. The saints were holy, and people were attracted to that. There’s a beauty in the life of holiness.”

(For more information on archdiocesan seminarians and a vocation to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, visit

More about Transitional Deacon Samuel Rosko

Transitional Deacon Anthony ArmbrusterAge: 26

Parents: Scot and Emily Rosko

Home Parish: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis

Education: Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Indianapolis; Marian University and Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis; Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad; Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’ Anselmo in Rome

Favorite Scripture verse/passage: John 12:32 (“When I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”)

Favorite saint: St. Alphonsus Liguori

Favorite prayer/devotion: the rosary, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Favorite movie: The Cardinal

Favorite authors: St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis de Sales, Bishop Luis Martinez, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Hobbies: Music, cooking, aviation, travel


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