Focus — jan 23 2011
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Msgr. Christopher P. Vasko

Ordained June 11, 1983
Home Parish: Swanton St. Richard
Current Assignment: Diocesan Judicial Vicar and Presbyteral Moderator and Chaplain of Toledo St. Martin de Porres

When it was announced he was one of the honorees, Msgr. Christopher Vasko Says parishioners at Toledo St. Martin de Porres asked what else he has to do now.

“Nothing,” is his response. “This is just to say you do a job and you do it well.”

Msgr. Vasko says he knows in his case, the honor is traditionally linked to the judicial vicar position, but he also thinks it is reflective of his assignment at a cultural parish.

“I have been able to interface there in a way that has been, I think, constructive and good, not only for me, but for the parish as well,” he says, adding that his two roles in the church are intimately connected.

“I couldn’t be the good judicial vicar if I didn’t have some great people supporting me out in the parish, and I could not be a good chaplain in a parish if I did not have an excellent staff here in the Tribunal,” Msgr. Vasko says.

“He gives of himself very capably and generously to the work of the Tribunal, which is so important for efforts to uphold marriage and to help people in difficult marriage situations,” says Bishop Leonard P. Blair.

Msgr. Vasko started his ministry as associate pastor and later administrator pro tem at Delphos St. John. After three years there, he became chaplain at Lima Central Catholic High School and was administrator at Continental St. John on two different occasions. Msgr. Vasko also served as administrator of Cloverdale St. Barbara before becoming pastor of Lima St. Rose and Lima St. John from 2001 to 2004.

In addition, Msgr. Vasko served the diocese as dean of the Lima Deanery. He has been a member of the Diocesan Review Board since 2002 and a Priests’ Council representative since 2008.

When he first learned of the honor, he says he thought it was a nice way to say, “Yeah, your work counts.”

At the same time, he says, it is a challenge.

“Well, now what level do you have to strive for in terms of participation in the life of the church? How does it change your philosophical outlook on ministry?” Msgr. Vasko asks, adding that it calls for a lot more reflection on the work he does.

“I think it’s a challenge to others as much as it is to the priests” who were named monsignor, he says. Those who were not chosen this time might ask how they see themselves as the servants of the people of God so that maybe the pope will take notice of them, too, he adds.

“In the long run it should be good for not only the ones in this occasion who are called a monsignor, but maybe for those who on another occasion might be,” Msgr. Vasko says.

- AK