Tuesday, August 20, 2019 UTC

MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO FATHER RICHARD “RICK” ROHRER & MESSAGE FROM FATHER IOURI KOSLOVSKII

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Project Rachel or the St Nicholas Orphanage in Ukraine.  Make checks out to SS Cyril and Methodius and indicate on note line “Project Rachel” or “Orphanage.”

A Message from: Father Iouri Koslovskii, Pastor in Ukraine: “I have the unfortunate duty to address all of you, Fr. Rick’s friends, from His Facebook page, with the notice of His passing into the House of the Lord. He died on Sunday night, July 14, at 10:35 PM Kyiv Time (3:35 PM EDT).

For many of us, Father Rick was so much more than just a Facebook friend. He was a person who always left a mark on the soul of the people that he befriended. With his sincerity, love, intentionality to help and serve, honesty, openness, knowledge, and spiritual integrity he entered lives of so many of us like an angel of God’s calm and simple power.

His last dream was that of transferring to Ukraine and working on Project Rachel (post-abortion reconciliation ministry). His trip to Ukraine two weeks ago was arduous. After a nine hours flight to Prague, there was no other option but to take a bus into Ukraine, which takes about 17 hours. He was then detained at the border and spent 12 hours sorting out the situation. I was allowed to pick him up late at night, and when I met him at the gate of the facility, I expected to see a tired and exhausted man after several days of sleepless trials. Instead, I was met with this big smile on his face and a spring in his step. Something, I didn’t see in him for years. And it was not just an expression of the end of challenging adventures. It was happiness for having arrived at the place that he longed for in years.

His last day was the day of the Lord, Sunday. He celebrated a beautiful liturgy in the morning. After lunch, even though it was raining heavily and the temperatures were low, we took a trip together with my family to Stradch, a place of pilgrimage outside Lviv, where monks inhabited caverns since the twelfth century. We visited the church and the graves of the many people who chose to be buried there entrusting their souls to the everlasting prayers of the monks. The same mount became a place of martyrdom for members of our Church at the hand of Soviet soldiers in 1941. We came back to the facility where we attended a dance competition of our students and then during the little dancing night that followed. He asked one of our teachers to a dance. Finished it, bowed and with a smile on his face collapsed to the ground.

If you knew him, you would know how much he appreciated dancing. Two days ago, he was preaching at the vespers inviting everyone to learn to dance, because otherwise, you will be bored in heaven (Psalms 149:3). The lady that danced with him last said that he probably never realized what happened to him and just kept dancing on, but in front of the Heavenly Altar.”

MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO FATHER RICK

We are saddened to hear of the passing of one of God’s priestly servants, +Rev. Richard Paul Rohrer, who entered into eternal rest on a Lord’s Day in Lviv, Ukraine, after having celebrated Divine Liturgy.

Father Richard was born and raised in Tecumseh, Michigan, and educated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. He was ordained by +Bishop Michael J. Dudick at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, serving as seminarian and Deacon. He would later serve as Assistant to +Msgr. John. Sekellick.

He subsequently studied Philosophy, Theology, Christian Archeology and Eastern Ecclesiastical Studies and Liturgy at the Angelicum and the Pontificio Istituto Orientale (Pontifical Oriental Institute) in Rome.

He went on to serve in many presbyteral positions, including pastor of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Church in Cary, NC, a church of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic (1994-2016).

Father Richard was an outspoken advocate against the evil of abortion and infanticide, and served as Spiritual Director of Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing ministry in Eastern North Carolina. He also worked with pre-school children from broken homes in Rhode Island, immigrants and indigent alcoholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit, taught catechism in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, and served as Administrative Assistant in the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

Father Richard was also a great friend to the Eastern Catholic churches in Northeastern Pennsylvania, visiting often to celebrate liturgy and speak at Lenten Missions at the parishes of Saint Joseph Melkite Greek- Catholic Church, Scranton; St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, Taylor; St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Scranton; The Chapel at Ciszek Hall on the campus of the University of Scranton; St. Mary of the Assumption Byzantine Catholic Church, Scranton, PA, Scranton, among others.

Though we are heartbroken at the passing of Father Richard, we can find comfort in knowing that he will now celebrate the Heavenly Liturgy at the Altar of God.

May his memory be eternal! Vichnaya Pam’yat! Вічная Пам’ять!

 

Below is a homily by him on July 6, 2011, “Things hidden from the wise.”

Things hidden from the wise – YouTube
https://images.app.goo.gl/934Z3QNFX4WqrYhS9