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An Interview With John Romanoski ’51

Although John Romanoski ’51 of Bridgeport, Ohio, has never owned an automobile, he has certainly gotten around! John recently talked to The Baronette about the two paths he has traveled—the path of faith and the path of science—since his years at the College of Steubenville. 

You were here during the very early years of the College. Tell us about them. 

I served in the Army during World War II and came to Steubenville to major in physics and mathematics. I belonged to the Science Club and the Baconian Society. My favorite teacher was physics professor Dr. Anthony Silvidi. I liked the College being downtown: I could get to the library anytime of the day or evening, and there was bus service to my hometown of Bridgeport. 

But science wasn’t your only interest, and you decided to try a priestly vocation. 

After graduation I went to Mount St. Mary Seminary in Norwood, Ohio, for one year, then joined the Franciscans in 1952. I remained with them for several years, studying in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. However, my superiors did not approve me for solemn vows, which I would have needed for ordination. 

God had other plans for you. So, it was back to your previous interest—science.

I taught science and math at St. John Vianney Seminary in Bloomingdale, Ohio, for three years. Then I received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study astronomy and computers at Yale. From there I worked for a while with North American Aviation in Downey, California. This company had a contract with NASA to work on getting a man on the moon. I was part of that project, working 48 hours a week computing space flights. After that I returned to teaching, and then retired on a disability pension from the Veterans Administration. Over the years I’ve worked for the volunteer fire department and done tutoring and part-time teaching. 

What are you doing nowadays?

For the last 14 years, I’ve volunteered at a nearby nursing home, helping with activities and as a eucharistic minister on Sunday. 

Originally published in the Autumn 2008 Baronette newsletter.