A Profile in Generosity: The Rosebrook Family

The Rosebrook family shares years of relationships with the Dominicans of our Province. Philip Rosebrook, Sr. made the first connection when his family moved to McKenzie Bridge, which has blossomed into deep friendships between the Dominicans and children and grandchildren.

A highlight of the relationship between the Rosebrook family and the Dominicans is the annual “Brothers Dinner” that the family has been hosting for years, wherein all the student brothers are invited to attend and spend time with the Rosebrook family and their community. One of Philip Sr.’s sons, David, shares more about the long history.

How were you first connected to the Dominicans?

David: We’ve known the Dominicans for a long time. Our family moved to McKenzie Bridge in 1973. St. Benedict Lodge was the only Catholic Church on the river, which is where my father, Philip, first met Fr. Christopher Moschini, O.P., director of the St. Benedict Lodge at the time. He formed a friendship with Fr. Moschini, regularly sharing breakfast together after daily Mass. When I was kid, after the Dominicans brothers would come in for retreats, my brother and I would go in at night and clean the facilities afterwards. We were also altar servers; there weren’t very many kids around, so we served most Masses on the weekends.

What’s a favorite memory you have of the Dominicans?

David: It’s hard to pick just one with so many years of memories, but I can name a few! The late Bishop Robert Christian came up right after his episcopal ordination and did a blessing for my parents for their 50th anniversary.

Dominican friars also sang at our wedding, mine and Michelle’s, back in 1991, which made it even more special when my oldest son, Christopher, got married this past January. The novices, who were visiting at the time, were able to sing in his wedding!

What does supporting the Dominicans do for you?

David: They have had an enormous impact on our lives. In some ways, for my siblings and I, being around the Dominicans was so normal – it was just the way we grew up. Now, seeing my children, nieces and nephews grow up with them, it becomes clear that they are having a great impact on the lives of their generation. For example, at one of our Brothers’ dinners, one of the student brothers was the first to suggest to my daughter, Madeline, that she had a call to religious life. She is now Sr. Israel Rose, SV, with the Sisters of Life. She had a call to religious life, and it was talking with the brothers that made her aware of that call.

The History of the Brothers Dinner

David: The party started a long time ago. Fr. Christopher Moschini, O.P., had always wanted to roast a lamb, and eventually a tradition began: the student brothers would come over to our house for this dinner. It started out small and it’s grown so much over the years – around 100 people! Now, the all the student brothers attend, along with our families, and we invite other families from our community who have been attending regularly for years now.

Eventually, it turned into a fundraiser. With everyone attending the dinner and getting to know the brothers, we thought it would be great to turn the dinner into a fundraiser for the student brothers. Once you get to know them, it’s hard not to want to support them! What’s more, we’ve gotten to witness the formation of the brothers in a really special way. We get to know them as novices, and then we watch them as they progress from the first year through the point of their priestly ordination. We get to watch these young men grow spiritually and become priests. It’s so special to watch their formation.

When we were young, my siblings and I were basically just hanging out, playing games and sports with the brothers. It’s different now! They still play games – volleyball and spike ball – in their habits, but it’s not just playing. They’re always breaking off and having conversations, especially with the young people at the party. These kids have big questions, and the student brothers are there to talk to them. I’ve been able to see the brothers have a massive impact on the faith life of not only my children, nieces, and nephews, but also the children of our friends and other attendees of the dinner.