Father Michael J. Roach Named McCloskey Award Recipient
Emmitsburg, Maryland - The Rev. Michael J. Roach, pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in Manchester, Maryland, and an adjunct faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary for more than 30 years, received the National Alumni Association’s 37th Annual John Cardinal McCloskey Award at the traditional Seminary Alumni Reunion in October.
The award recognizes John Cardinal McCloskey, a Mount Seminary graduate, the first natural-born American Cardinal, and the second archbishop of New York.
“Since his ordination to the Holy Priesthood, Father Roach’s passion has been to carry forth with the sacred Mission of God’s Holy Church,” said Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, S.T.D., seminary rector. “His resolve has been unshakeable and unwavering. He has truly followed the words of St. John … he has not sought his own glory, but the glory of his Savior Jesus Christ.”
The son of Irish American parents — his father a doctor, his mother a nurse — with a deep and abiding love of their Catholic faith, Father Roach received his baccalaureate degree in history from Loyola College in 1967. He entered the formation program at St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1971 by the late Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, and in 1978, he earned a master’s degree in church history from Catholic University.
During his ministry in the Archdiocese, Father Roach has been an assistant pastor of Our Lady of Hope and St. Dominic’s Parishes, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church and secretary of the Priests’ Senate. At St. Bartholomew Parish, he recently spearheaded a successful capital campaign to build a new and larger church to meet the needs of a growing Catholic community. The first Mass in the beautiful facility was celebrated in 2007.
In 1978, Father Roach came to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary as an adjunct faculty member of church history, but his tireless efforts and service have been anything but part-time.
“Truth be told, there is no one on this campus who has the wealth, breath and knowledge of Mount history than Father Roach, says Msgr. Rohlfs. “He has become a teacher, spiritual confessor and treasured friend to many Mountaineer priests, seminarians and members of this campus community.”
Father Roach has been recognized as a highly respected author, lecturer and expert on the early Church in America, Archdiocese of Baltimore, city of Baltimore and the Irish American experience. He has appeared on radio, television, the EWTN’s movie, A Heritage of Faith and Freedom, and the documentary film, America’s Basilica, a documentary film on the Archdiocese’s National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral.
In addition, his writings have included: A Journey of Faith: Catholic History of Baltimore for the Catholic Review, The Irish in America and The Irish in Baltimore for the Encyclopedia of Irish America and John Carroll and Mother Seton for Eerdman’s Handbook of American Christianity, as well as co-authoring the Bicentennial History of Catholic America.
Father Roach has also served as a member of the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Scholarship Foundation for Urban Education, Chaplain of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, State Chaplain for the Maryland Knights of Columbus and President of the Mount De Sales Academy’s Board of Trustees for more than 30 years.