June 7, 2024

Three new archdiocesan priests called to Christ-like service of God’s people

Father Joseph Moriarty, left, Father Joseph Newton and Msgr. William F. Stumpf, ritually lay hands respectively on transitional deacons Anthony Armbruster, Samuel Rosko and Bobby Vogel during a June 1 Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis in which the three deacons were ordained archdiocesan priests. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Father Joseph Moriarty, left, Father Joseph Newton and Msgr. William F. Stumpf, ritually lay hands respectively on transitional deacons Anthony Armbruster, Samuel Rosko and Bobby Vogel during a June 1 Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis in which the three deacons were ordained archdiocesan priests. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis was brimming with joy on June 1.

On that day, the cathedral was at standing-room-only capacity as some 100 priests and close to 1,000 lay Catholics, deacons and religious from across central and southern Indiana gathered with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson to take part in the ordination of three new archdiocesan priests: Father Anthony Armbruster, Father Samuel Rosko and Father Bobby Vogel.

“It’s great to have a full cathedral,” Archbishop Thompson said at the start of the Mass. “It’s even greater to have a full cathedral that sings and prays so well. … We give thanks to God for the blessings bestowed upon the archdiocese, especially by way of these three men. We give thanks for their families and for their parishes for nurturing their vocations, supporting them and sustaining them for this moment.” (See a photo gallery from the Mass | More photos)

After the Mass, Father Vogel cknowledged the power of processing into the filled cathedral at the start of the liturgy.

“I was very aware of God’s goodness and the overabundance of his grace,” he said. “I was very aware of his presence.”

For Father Armbruster, the cathedral was full beyond those present in body and soul. During the praying of the litany of the saints in the Mass, when he and the two others to be ordained priests lay prostrate in prayer on the cathedral’s floor, he was aware of the presence around him of those who are part of the Church triumphant in heaven.

“I just remembered all those who brought me here, especially those who have died—all of those in the great cloud of witnesses, those holy men and women who are saints of God,” said Father Armbruster, who will begin service on July 3 as parochial vicar of SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi Parish in Greenwood and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville.

Catholics across the archdiocese represented by the people who filled the cathedral were on Father Rosko’s mind when Archbishop Thompson anointed his hands with sacred chrism oil during the rite of ordination.

“I was very aware that, from now on, these hands are no longer mine, but the hands of Jesus for the sanctification of his people,” he said. “That was very powerful.”

‘Bound to Jesus Christ’

In his homily during the ordination Mass, Archbishop Thompson noted that the three men to be ordained had been formed “to be icons of Jesus the Good Shepherd.”

He then reflected on the pastoral mission they were about to take up, reminding them that, first and foremost, their priestly life and ministry is to be focused on Christ.

“The life and ministry of each and every priest must be bound to Jesus Christ the great high priest,” Archbishop Thompson said. “We are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ, not of our own.”

He noted that carrying out this mission is challenging in a contemporary society marked by “immediate gratification, shameless demand of entitlement and unwavering, rampant self-absorption.”

In contrast, Archbishop Thompson noted that the men before him were “three very gifted, talented and holy young men” who were “making a radical commitment to selflessly give of themselves in service to the mission entrusted to the Church for the sake of others.

“Such a radical gift of self necessarily requires undaunted courage, generosity of spirit, deep trust and conviction of faith,” he continued. “Such a radical act is not so much about escaping or rejecting the contrasting culture, but a willingness to embrace Jesus Christ’s mission of transforming the world for its own good.

“Rather than personal gain or comfort, their focus must remain on salvation of souls.”

Father Armbruster knows the great contrast between the life of faith to which he and all Catholics are called and the life promoted in today’s culture. Because of that contrast, he sees the society around him as mission territory.

“The way the world is right now, there’s kind of a longing for an encounter with the Lord,” Father Armbruster said. “There are countless souls that have lost their way. My call and my classmates’ call is to work for the salvation of souls, to help people have an encounter with Christ.”

Archbishop Thompson’s focus on Christ in his homily caught the attention of Father Rosko.

“It’s not our priesthood, but the priesthood of Jesus,” said Father Rosko, who on July 3 will begin ministry as parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis. “We have a duty and obligation to be conformed to Christ, always through his grace, to be his image and literally walk in the person of Jesus in the world.”

As he enters into priestly life and ministry, Father Rosko won’t be walking alone.

Archbishop Thompson emphasized in his homily the importance of a priest’s “communion with the pope, his bishop and brother priests.”

“It is this intentional sense of belonging that unites us to Jesus Christ, the great high priest, within both the local and universal Church,” he continued. “How can priests be credible about preaching and teaching what it means to be a part of the body of Christ, the Church, without giving first witness to being a credible member of its presbyterate?

“There are numerous ways to appear holy, but only in communion with the Holy Trinity through fidelity to the Church does a priest give authentic witness to holiness.”

Overflowing hearts

Andrea Vogel, Father Vogel’s mother, appreciated her son’s ties to the archdiocese’s priests as she watched many who have served at St. Joseph Parish in Jennings County, where her son was baptized and grew up, ritually lay hands on him during the ordination and exchange with him a sign of peace.

“My heart was full to overflowing,” she recalled after the ordination Mass. “God has blessed Bobby so much in the support he has now. And he will need it. I’m so thankful he has that.”

Robert and Marijane Armbruster had a similar experience as they watched two priests who have ministered at St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg, where they and their family have been longtime parishioners, help their son put on his priestly vestments.

“Father Dan [Staublin] was one of the first priests to influence Anthony when he was our pastor at St. Malachy when Anthony was in grade school, and Father [Sean] Danda is our current pastor who has been very supportive of Anthony over the past six years,” Robert said. “That moment was especially powerful for us.”

As Marijane watched her son be ordained a priest, images of him as a child playing at celebrating Mass in their home came to mind, along with the six years he spent in priestly formation.

“To finally see our son … take a seat with all of the other priests in the sanctuary was a moment we’ll remember always,” she said.

Seeing her son lying prostrate on the floor of the cathedral was powerful for Emily Rosko, who described the ordination liturgy as “overwhelmingly awesome.”

“It really made me feel like he is giving his life,” she said. “I was like, ‘God, I’m giving my son to you now.’ That moment really hit me.”

In giving their lives to God and the Church in the ordination Mass, the three new priests began looking forward to the ministry they’ll begin in about a month.

Father Vogel, who will serve as parochial vicar of St. Simon the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis, said he is excited to “make missionary disciples and saints in heaven.”

Father Rosko noted that he will have “total trust in Jesus. Jesus will show me the way and give me the strength to do what he desires of me.”

Asked minutes after the Mass what the ordination liturgy meant to him, Father Armbruster was close to tears.

“It was very overwhelming,” he said. “It’s still hard to believe. It’ll probably take a while.”

(Click here to view a photo gallery from the June 1 ordination Mass. For more information on a vocation to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, visit www.HearGodsCall.com.)

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