In Memoriam: Rev. Edward J. Roszko, Jr., OSFS

Rev. Edward J. Roszko, Jr., OSFS, professed member of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for 55 years, died Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Born in Wilmington, DE on May 31, 1942, the son of Edward J. Roszko, Sr. and Mary (Matkowski) Roszko, he attended St. James Elementary School, Penns Grove, NJ, and graduated from Salesianum School in 1960. After completing two years of undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, he entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in June 1962. He professed first vows at the end of his postulancy and novitiate on August 21, 1963, followed by perpetual profession on October 30, 1966 and ordained a priest on September 12, 1970. He completed a B.A. in Latin and Greek from Niagara University, Niagara Falls, NY in 1965 and an M.A. in Education from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC in 1970

Teaching was his passion. He taught religion at Allentown Central Catholic High School while also serving as assistant postulant director at Brisson Seminary, Center Valley, PA during the 1971 – 1972 academic year. The following two years found him teaching religion at Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, PA. From 1974 – 1980, he was a member of the religion department at his alma mater, Salesianum School, Wilmington, DE. Next, Father taught religion at Fr. Judge High School, Philadelphia from 1980 – 1997 and also served as chair of the theology department between 1985 – 1993. Ed then took a teaching assignment beginning in the fall of 1997 at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA. In the summer of 2003 he returned to Salesianum where he continued his ministry of teaching. He retired in the autumn of 2016 after sustaining an injury which left him with chronic health issues.

Father Roszko embodied school spirit and enthusiasm both within and beyond the classroom. He was a fixture at countless athletic events, concerts, plays, performances and a host of other extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. Those unfamiliar with his background could be forgiven for assuming he was a graduate of every school in which he ever taught.

Father Roszko loved being an Oblate priest. He loved his faith and shared it at every opportunity – always with his unique sense of humor and with an even bigger smile. He was no stranger to the editorial boards of many newspapers in the cities where he lived and worked – while he was seen standing on the sidelines of many a football game during his nearly 45 years in secondary school education, he was not content to sit on the sidelines when it came to engaging in dialogue regarding topics of faith and culture of the day.

Fr. Roszko is survived by his step mother, Mrs. Mary Roszko, of Wilmington, DE.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM, Monday, November 12, at Our Lady of Light Chapel, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Childs, MD, where visitation will begin at 9:30 AM. Interment will follow in the Oblate Cemetery.

Donations in memory of Fr. Roszko’s life and legacy may be made to the Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806.