The wake for Father Pasquale (Paschal/Pat) Rosca, O de M began with vespers at 3 p.m. March 22 in St. Rocco Church, 3205 Fulton Road, Cleveland. The Very Rev. Matthew Phelan, O de M, vicar provincial, was the celebrant. The wake continued until 7 p.m.
Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for Father Rosca at 11 a.m. March 23 in St. Rocco Church.
Father Rosca, 88, died March 14 at Regina Health Center where he had been a resident for nearly two months.
He was born Feb. 9, 1935 to the late Michele and Camilla Corlito Rosca in San Nicola Baronia, Avellino, Italy.
Father Rosca entered the Mercedarian Friars of the Roman Province in the fall of 1949 at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy in Nemi, Italy. He made his first profession of vows on Sept. 24, 1955. Upon completing studies at San Martino ai Monti in Rome, Italy, he studied philosophy and theology at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. Father Rosca was ordained a priest on July 14, 1963 at the Friars’ Shrine of Our Lady of Carpignano in Avellino, Italy.
From 1963-1966, he was assigned to Our Lady of Mercy Parish, San Vito dei Normanni, Brindisi, Italy. In 1966, Father Rosca was sent to the United States where he was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Cleveland in 1967. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he was responsible for the altar servers, the Golden Agers Club and he was the spiritual moderator of the ladies’ Sacred Heart Sodality.
In 1969, Father Rosca was assigned to the Mercedarian House of Studies in Niagara Falls, New York, for nine months. After that, he returned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Cleveland until he was transferred to St. Rocco Parish in Cleveland in September 1976, where he served as parochial vicar until 2018. As parochial vicar, he was responsible for the altar servers, CYO and he taught religion in the parish elementary school. He also served as spiritual moderator for several parish organizations, including the ladies’ Holy Family Sodality, the SCU Men’s Club and the Mercede Confraternity.
For nearly 20 years, Father Rosca was active with the parish’s Christ Renews His Parish and Renew programs. He enjoyed working with parishioners to help set up for the annual festival. Parishioners recalled he was always ready with a hammer or a roll of duct tape, as needed. He was considered a point person for anything that was needed.
Father Rosca also enjoyed playing golf when he got the chance. He often was seen walking around the neighborhood or parish property for exercise.
In 1977, he began serving as spiritual director for the Holy Name Society Northwest Deanery. He received the Medallion Circle Award from the late Bishop Anthony Pilla in recognition for his dedication to the Holy Name Society. In 1985, 2001, 2007 and 2012, he was honored as the Holy Name Society Spiritual Director of the Year.
During the centennial year of St. Rocco’s Festival in 2015, Father Rosca received the Papal Cross of Honor, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, one of the highest honors the pope bestows upon the religious or laity. The award was presented during the festival, which traditionally is celebrated Labor Day weekend at the request of the local superior and the provincial. In addition, he was honored in 2018 as the Il Padrone della Festa, or the “father of the feast” at the festival.
Father Rosca retired in 2018, but remained in residence at St. Rocco as a conventual friar helping as he could.
He had a great devotion to Our Lady of Mercy and the Mercedarian order. He often was appointed local superior and several times served as a member of the friars’ Vicarial Council.
Father Rosca loved music and enjoyed going to and watching operas, musicals and other productions. In his later years, he would watch various cooking channels. He also enjoyed gardening and found joy in planting, especially beans. Father Rosca often could be seen working in the parish garden, eating in the garden and giving away fresh tomatoes and vegetables
Those who knew him said Father Rosca would be remembered for his ready smile, hard work and loving patience.
Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park,
Memorial contributions in his honor can be made to St. Rocco Strong Capital Campaign for a classroom in the school that will be dedicated in Father Rosca’s honor.