Thursday, 27 July 2023 11:11

Father Rosa of Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham now a U.S. citizen

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08 06 2023 Fr. Rosa US Citizen‘It's good to be a U.S. citizen’
Father Rosa of Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham now a U.S. citizen


EFFINGHAM — Father Michal Rosa, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Effingham, officially became a U.S. citizen July 7 during his oath ceremony, the final step of the naturalization process.

“I love it (being a citizen),” Father Rosa said. “Really, I feel like nothing has changed. However, it does feel great knowing that I am a citizen. The feedback from the people is amazing, and I have received so much support. It's good to be a U.S. citizen.” 

A native of Tarnow, Poland, Father Rosa came to the U.S. in 2010, primarily to serve Polish people at St. Ferdinand Church in Chicago. He was there for two years before returning to Poland in 2012. 

It was during that time in Chicago when Father Rosa met Bishop Thomas John Paprocki.

“Long story short, he invited me to come and serve in the Diocese of Springfield,” Father Rosa recalls.

So, Father Rosa came to Effingham in 2014 and started as a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart (Effingham), St. Anthony of Padua (Effingham), and St. Mary (Shumway). In 2017, he became the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. 

Gaining U.S. citizenship involves several steps and took Father  Rosa about 10 years. This includes a two-year working visa, a one-year process for a green card, living and working in the U.S. for five years while on a green card, and a naturalization process that takes over a year.

To obtain citizenship, you must complete all the steps mentioned above. To obtain a green card, you must have your fingerprints taken and be up to date with vaccinations. After that, you must pass the naturalization interview and test. Father Rosa completed these steps in March and attended his oath ceremony on July 7, which includes him promising to fulfill supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States against its enemies.

“I am proud to be a priest in the Diocese of Springfield, and it just felt natural to become a citizen,” Father Rosa said.

When asked what he loves most about America, his response?

“A lot of things. I love the people, especially in Effingham. The food is great, especially steaks. I like the language too, even though I still have a lot to learn.” 


Father Michal Rosa, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham and born in Poland, is now a U.S. citizen.

Submitted photo