Brother Paul Julien Rosonke, C.S.CJanuary 9, 1934 ~ December 4, 2017 (age 83)
Brother Paul Julien Rosonke, C.S.C., age 83, died on December 4, 2017 at Dujarie House, in Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, Indiana. He was born in rural Carroll, Iowa on January 9, 1934, the son of Leo and Mary Theresa (Reiling) Rosonke. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary and High School graduating in June 1952. He had lost his Father at the age of 10 and the family (mother and two sisters) moved in with his uncle and family. He worked on the farm and learned mechanical skills from his uncle. Paul wrote for information about the Holy Cross brothers and visited Sacred Heart Juniorate in Watertown. His mother encouraged him to join Holy Cross. He went to Watertown as a postulant and then St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Indiana and made his first profession as a Holy Cross Brother on February 2, 1954,
With his mechanical talents and farming experience, he stayed at the Novitiate for four years to assist in the farming chores and maintenance work. In 1958, he was assigned to Watertown in charge of maintenance care and improvements at the Academy. He studied the electrician’s trade and obtained a license and also learned welding. In 1968, he joined the Brothers’ faculty at the new Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Illinois as head of the maintenance department. He designed a moveable rack to carry the large wrestling mats for quick set-up and storage. He also designed a unique cylindrical cart to store 10 basketballs, earned a patent and then sold it. While at River Grove he was influenced by Brothers Fergus Burns and Edward Olszowka and became active at charismatic prayer gatherings.
In 1977, he received an invitation from a priest friend to come minister to needy people on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Cherry Creek, South Dakota. The venture also interested two Brothers, James Newberry and James Kumba. Many Native Americans valued their work for seven years. Paul was honored and received a Lakota tribal blanket and was given the name, “Wawokyia,” which means “One Who Serves People.” The brothers spent 7 years living and assisting on the Reservation. In 1984, Paul returned to Notre Dame to serve on the maintenance staff at the Brothers Center and at Columba Hall until 1993 when he took a 2-year charismatic retreat at a Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico. In 1995 he moved to Texas and spent 6 years on the maintenance staff of Holy Cross High School in San Antonio and then moved to Austin where he served 11 years at St. Ignatius Church on the staff for maintenance needs and as a prayer minister to the needy in the parish until 2012, when he returned to Notre Dame and retired at Columba Hall to pursue a variety of his mechanical hobbies.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at Our Lady of Holy Cross Chapel in the Schubert Villa-Dujarie House Complex from 9:30 to 11:00am on the grounds of Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame. The Mass of Resurrection will then follow with interment in St. Joseph’s Cemetery of the Village. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Memorial contributions, in honor of Brother Paul Rosonke, C.S.C., to support the mission and ministries of the Brothers may be sent to: Brothers of Holy Cross, Office of Development, P.O. Box 460, Notre Dame, IN 46556.