Msgr. Robert A. Roh passed away on March 14, 2022 at the age of 82. Many of us knew him as he was a Sacred Heart fixture from 1988-2015. Even after he retired in 2015 we were fortunate that he continued to live in Falls City upon his retirement. Covid made his life difficult, so he moved in January of 2021 to a nursing home in David City where he was from and had family.
Sometimes I assume that everyone knew Fr. Roh, but because he retired seven years ago in 2015, some of our newer Sacred Heart families didn’t get the chance to know him. Some of the folks from schools we compete against in our conference or in other activities, who may be new to their schools since 2015, never got to meet Fr. Roh.
At a recent AD Meeting I found myself giving a little history of the Pioneer Conference and the impact Fr. Roh had on it dating back to 1994, the year the conference was established. The former conference our school belonged to was the Galaxy Conference. At one time it had a north and south division, but around the time Fr. Roh came to Sacred Heart in 1988, it was a conference with dwindling membership. The schools from the Galaxy were looking to gain new members or possibly leave for other conferences. Around this same time, a neighboring conference found itself in a similar situation with uncertainty about its future. In 1994, as a result of this uncertainty, the Pioneer Conference was born. Most of the schools from the Galaxy and some from the neighboring conference formed a new conference – the Nebraska Pioneer Conference.  Fr. Roh was one of the school leaders along with a couple others that did the majority of the work to create the Pioneer Conference. For 28 years, Falls City Sacred Heart has been a member of this conference.
Fr. Roh helped write the original Constitution and Bylaws. He was one of the founding fathers so to speak. Usually the President of the Conference is a superintendent and it rotates annually. Due to the respect that Fr. Roh had from the other conference superintendents, he was the first president of the Pioneer. Not only for the first year but for the first several years. Due to the conference being new, it was thought that the consistency of leadership under Fr. Roh for those first several years, was the best thing for the conference. The President’s school supplied the secretary position which was held by me starting in 1994. The secretary position evolved in to the Pioneer Commissioner job which I then held until the Spring of 2015. For twenty-one years I was the secretary/commissioner. When he retired as Superintendent of Sacred Heart School in 2015, I retired from the Commissioner job of the Pioneer Conference. We went to every Pioneer Conference Meeting, working together for the conference and for Sacred Heart School, for over twenty years.
This is just one thing of hundreds that Fr. Roh did in his years here at Falls City Sacred Heart. He was a great leader in so many ways. The leader of our school. The leader of our parish. The leader of countless other things like the Pioneer Conference.
Sacred Heart School – A Family Educating Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit for this Life and the Next.