Brendan O'Shaughnessy | February 19, 2019
Rev. Peter Rocca, C.S.C., grew up so Catholic he claims he didn’t know a single public school student, so Catholic that piano-teaching nuns taught him to “play” the organ as if it were a piano, so Catholic that he entered the seminary at age 14.
“I just was very much attracted to, I think, priesthood and ministry initially because of the liturgy — and the music,” he says.
Years later, when he was asked if he would like to take over as rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1997, Father Rocca thought about it for “a millionth of a second.”
“I said I think that would be really nice; I think I would love that,” Father Rocca said. “It seemed to be a match for my gifts and talents.”
He certainly did love it. Nearly 23 years later, Father Rocca is stepping down from the job he was born to do, the culmination of his path through the priesthood to become an expert in liturgy, prayer, preaching and sacred music. He struggles to confine nearly a quarter century to a few highlights.
The Easter Vigil (every one for 22 years). Hearing confessions (“helping people know that God really loves them despite their sinfulness”). Baptisms (the Burbage family liked him so much he baptized every one of their nine kids).
Read more here.