Browsing The Northern Cross

Priesthood Jubiliees - June 2016

The Northern Cross  - June 2016
Priesthood Jubilees

65 Years

Father Richard Partika

Father Richard Partika was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1951, by Bishop Thomas A. Welch at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Duluth for the Diocese of Duluth. His home parish is St. John’s Church, Duluth.

Father Partika was born in Duluth to his parents Frank and Lillian (Janzig) Partika. He attended elementary school at St. James Orphan’s Home and St. John the Evangelist School in Duluth. He graduated from Cathedral High School in Duluth. He studied philosophy at Nazareth Hall in St. Paul and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. Father Partika knew the third bishop of Duluth, Bishop Thomas Welch, since he was 4 years old. He attended the ordination of Duluth bishops Francis Schenck, Paul Anderson, Robert Brom, Paul Anderson and Roger Schwietz. He also attended the ordination for many other bishops throughout the United States with whom he was acquainted.

Father Partika served at Blessed Sacrament, Hibbing; St. Isidore, Sturgeon Lake; St. Joseph, Split Rock; St. Anthony, Duluth; Our Lady of Lourdes, Virginia; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet; St. Pius X, Babbitt; St. Joseph, Beroun; and St. Margaret Mary, Duluth.

Diocesan ministries included the diocesan Board of Education, Respect Life Coordinator and episcopal vicar. Father Partika initiated the organization of the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) in the diocese in the mid-1950s.

Father Partika retired in 1998 and lives in Duluth.

60 Years

Father Gerald LaPatka

Father Gerald LaPatka was born in Virginia to Mable and Thomas LaPatka. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Duluth on June 2, 1956, by Bishop Thomas A. Welch at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Duluth.

Father LaPatka attending elementary school at Jefferson and Washington schools in Virginia and high school at Roosevelt Senior High School in Virginia. From 1945 to 1947 he served in the military. He attended college at Mesabi Junior College. He then attended St. John’s University in Collegeville. He studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and did advanced study at North American College in Rome.

His pastoral service to the Diocese of Duluth includes St. Anthony, Ely; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet; Good Shepherd, Duluth; St. Anthony, Duluth; St. Joseph, Beroun; Mission Lakewood, Duluth; St. Joseph, Gnesen; St. Casimir, Cloquet; Immaculate Conception, Cromwell-Wright; St. Alice, Pequot Lakes; St. Christopher, Nisswa; Our Lady of Lourdes, Pine River; Sacred Heart, Hackensack; St. Agnes, Walker; Sacred Heart Cathedral, Duluth; St. Mary, Silver Bay; Mission at Taconite Harbor; St. Martin, Tower; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl; St. Joseph, Chisholm; St. Benedict, Duluth; and St. Lawrence, Duluth.

Additional areas of service include as director of the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood; director of Propagation of the Faith; chaplain for Catholic Girls, Bethel Home; religion teacher at Stanbrook Hall and Cathedral High School; episcopal vicar, senator-consultor; coordinator of chancery matters; Presbyteral Council; clergy member for Renew Core Team at the Pastoral Center; sisters confessor; dean of Duluth Deanery; charismatic liaison; assistant spiritual director of Cursillo; and spiritual director of Magnifcat. Father LaPatka was the assistant pastor at St. Anthony, Ely, when the church and rectory were built in 1956.

Father LaPatka is retired from the Diocese of Duluth and is currently serving in pastoral care at St. Timothy Church in Mesa, Ariz.

50 Years

Father William Fider

Father William Fider was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis J. Schenk at St. Joseph Church in Grand Rapids on June 4, 1966, for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Fider was born in Spooner, Wis. He attended Crosier Seminary in Onamia for high school and college. At St. Paul Seminary he he studied philosophy and theology.

In the Diocese of Duluth, he served the parishes of St. John, Hill City; St. Michael, Duluth; St. Benedict, Duluth; St. Joseph, Chisholm; Holy Spirit, Virginia; Sacred Heart, Virginia; and St. Heart, Mountain Iron. He is currently pastor of St. Lawrence, Duluth, and St. Joseph, Duluth Heights.

Father Fider’s other services include instructor at Cathedral High School, Duluth, Priests’ Senate, Presbyteral Council and Priest Pension Board.

Father Ronald Gagne

Father Ronald Gagne was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis J. Schenk at St. Rose Church in Proctor on June 11, 1966, for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Gagne was born in Duluth to Lumina LaVioloette Gagne and Andre Gagne. He attended elementary school at St. Rose School in Proctor and high school at Cathedral High School in Duluth. He studied philosophy at Crosier Seminary in Onamia and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul

He served at the parishes of St. John, Duluth; St. Joseph, Chisholm; St. Joseph, Crosby; Resurrection, Eveleth; St. Charles, Cass Lake; St. Benedict, Duluth; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl; St. John, Grand Marais; Holy Rosary, Grand Portage; St. Cecilia, Nashwauk; St. Kevin, Pengilly; and St. Mary, Keewatin.

Father Gagne also served as the first chairperson of the diocesan Building Committee and Presbyteral Council.

Father Gagne retired in 2006 and resides in Cotton.

Father Fredrick Method

Father Fredrick Method was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis J. Schenk at St. Kevin’sChurch in Pengilly on May 28, 1966, for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Method was born in Duluth, one of three sons and four daughters, to Lucille and Francis Method.

He attended elementary school at Buhl Grade School and high school and college at Crosier Seminary in Onamia. He studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary.

For the Diocese of Duluth he served at the following parishes: St. Joseph, Beroun; St. John, Duluth; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet; St. John, Virginia; Our Lady of Lourdes, Virginia; Good Shepherd, Duluth; St. Rose, Proctor; Resurrection, Eveleth; St. Mary, Cook; St. John, Biwabik; St. Leo, Hibbing; St. Agnes, Walker; and Sacred Heart, Hackensack.

Additional areas of service in the Diocese of Duluth include diocesan Pension Board, senator-consultor, temporary episcopal vicar, episcopal vicar, state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus and Presbyteral Council.

Father Method is currently pastor of St. Joseph, Chisholm, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl. His retirement is effective in July.

Father Seamus Walsh

Father Seamus Walsh was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Thomas Morris at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles, Ireland, on June 12, 1966, for the Diocese of Duluth.

He was born in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Father Walsh attended elementary school at St. Mary’s Boy’s National School, Nenagh Christian Brothers and high school at Christian Brothers Secondary School in Nenagh. He studied philosophy at Mungret College — Apostolic School, Limerick, Ireland, and theology at St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, Ireland. He completed advanced study at St. Thomas College in St. Paul and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Father Walsh has served the following parishes for the Diocese of Duluth: Good Shepherd, Duluth; St. Michael, Duluth; St. John, Duluth; St. Mary, Marble; St. Joseph, Crosby; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Cloquet; Queen of Peace, Cloquet; St. Alice, Pequot Lakes; St. Christopher, Nisswa; St. Francis, Brainerd; St. Thomas, Pine Beach; St. Andrew, Brainerd; St. Francis, Brainerd; and St. Mathias, Fort Ripley.

Father Walsh has also served the Diocese of Duluth as chaplain at St. James’ Children’s Home, senatorconsultor, National Guard Chaplain, Duluth Pastoral Council Executive Board, campus ministry at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council and chaplain for the Daughters of Isabella.

Father Walsh currently is pastor of St. John, Grand Marais, and Holy Rosary, Grand Portage.

40 Years

Father William Graham

Father William Graham was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Paul F. Anderson at St. Rose Church in Proctor on June 18, 1976, for the Diocese of Duluth.

He was born in Proctor to Irene and John Graham. He attended St. Rose School in Proctor for his elementary education and Cathedral High School in Duluth for high School. He attended college at St. John Vianney Seminary. His philosophy and theology studies were completed at St. John’s Seminary, Collegeville. He also completed advanced study at the University of Notre Dame with a master’s degree in liturgy. Father Graham received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and education from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul and a master’s degree in theology from St. John’s University. He received a doctorate from Fordham University in New York. Father Graham has received many academic awards, including Jim Campbell Scholar; graduate assistantship, Fordham University; passed Comprehensive Examination with honors as well as Teacher Fellow and Presidential Scholar, also at Fordham University.

Additional areas of service in the Diocese of Duluth include principal, chaplain, department head of religious studies and part time instructor at Cathedral High School in Duluth; lecturer at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth; producer for the Mass for Shut-Ins; Presbyteral Council; and Chaplains’ Advisory Board for Lakeshore Lutheran Home and St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. Father Graham has a distinguished career as an author of many articles, books and curricula and as a visiting instructor throughout the United States. He also has experience in broadcast media.

Father Graham is currently pastor of St. Michael in Duluth.

Father Lawrence Johnson

Father Lawrence Johnson was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Paul F. Anderson at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth on May 22, 1976, for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Johnson was born in St. Paul. He attended elementary school at St. Jude School in Mahtomedi and high school at Hill High School in Maplewood. He attended St. Thomas University in St. Paul for college. His theology studies were at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and St. John’s Seminary in St. Cloud.

He served the parish of St. Anthony in Ely. He left the Diocese of Duluth for the Diocese of San Diego in1982. While in the Diocese of Duluth he also served as the director of vocations, director of permanent diaconate, director of priestly life and ministry, chaplain of the Serra Club, Senator Consultor and on the Personnel Board.

Father Johnson resides in San Diego.

Father David Tushar

Father David Tushar was ordained to the priesthood at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Notre Dame, Indiana, by Archbishop Lawrence Graner on April 24, 1976, for the Congregation of Holy Cross Order. He entered the Diocese of Duluth in 1985 and was incardinated to the diocese in 1988.

Father Tushar was born in Eveleth to Julia and William Tushar. He attended Gilbert Elementary School and attended high school at Crosier Seminary in Onamia and Holy Cross Seminary, Notre Dame. He attended college at the University of Notre Dame. He studied philosophy and Theology I-II at Gregorian University in Rome and Theology III-IV at Catholic Theological Union, M.Div., Chicago. His advanced study gave him a master’s degree in education, which was received at Loyola University of Chicago.

Father Tushar’s service to the Diocese of Duluth includes vicar general, diocesan administrator, Presbyteral Council, director of priestly formation, director of catholic education and Consultor. Before he arrived in the Diocese of Duluth he was principal at Notre Dame High School.

He served the following parishes in the Diocese of Duluth: St. Joseph, Grand Rapids; St. Augustine, Cohasset; St. Joseph, Chisholm; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Buhl; St. Theresa, Effie; Our Lady of Snows, Bigfork; St. Paul, Warba; St. Lawrence, Duluth; Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Duluth; Queen of Peace, Cloquet; and Holy Family, Cloquet. Father Tushar is currently pastor of St. Francis in Carlton and Sts. Mary and Joseph in Sawyer.

30 Years

Bishop Paul Sirba

Bishop Paul Sirba was ordained to the priesthood in St. Paul for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 31, 1986. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI named Father Sirba the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth on Oct. 15, 2009. He was ordained as the bishop of the Diocese of Duluth on Dec. 14, 2009, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Bishop Sirba was born to Norbert and Helen Sirba. He attended elementary school at Nativity of Mary Grade School and high school at the Academy of the Holy Angels. He attended the University of St. Thomas and seminary at St. Paul Seminary. Bishop Sirba has a master of divinity degree from St. Paul Seminary and a master’s degree in spiritual theology from Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

Before becoming the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, he served the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis at St. Olaf Church, Minneapolis; Church of St. John the Baptist, Savage; and Maternity of the Blessed Virgin in St. Paul. He also served as a member of the spiritual formation department at St. John Vianney Seminary and was the spiritual director at St. Paul Seminary. Bishop Sirba was also the vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

25 Years

Father Pio Atonio

Father Pio Atonio was ordained a priest on June 22, 1991, by Vigilig Cardinal Noe at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for the Missionaries of the Holy Family.

Father Atonio was incardinated to the Diocese of Duluth on March 31, 2013.

After arriving in the Diocese of Duluth in 2011, he served as chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth and is currently pastor of St. Mary, Meadowlands; Immaculate Conception, Cromwell; and St. Louis, Floodwood.

Father Stephen Solors

Father Stephen Solors was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, in Duluth on Feb. 2, 1991, for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Solors was born in Minneapolis to Annette (Welle) and Francis Solors. He attended elementary school at St. Martin Catholic School in Rogers and Rogers Public School. For high school he attended Elk River High School in Elk River. Father Solors attended North Hennepin Community College and Hennepin Vocational Technical Center, studying for a landscaping degree. He studied philosophy at St. John Vianney Seminary at St. Thomas College in St. Paul. He studied theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Father Solors served the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Duluth; St. Joseph, Chisholm; St. Thomas of the Pines, Pine Beach; Our Lady of the Snows, Bigfork; St. Catherine, Squaw Lake; St. Joseph, Ball Club; St. Anne, Bena; Sacred Heart, Federal Dam; St. Mary, Willow River; and St. Isidore, Sturgeon Lake.

He also has served as hospital chaplain and in prison ministry and was in residence at Holy Family, Cloquet. Father Solors was also chaplain for the deanery meeting of the Cohasset and Grand Rapids CatholicCouncil of Women.

Father Solars is currently in residence in Willow River.

15 Years

Father David Forsman

Father David Forsman was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 2001, by Bishop Dennis Schnurr at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth for the Diocese of Duluth.

Father Forsman was born to Katheryn (Braun) and Dennis Forsman. He attended Seton Home School for high school. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary at St. Mary’s College in Winona and studied theology at St. Paul Seminary at St. Thomas University in St. Paul.

Father Forsman has served in the parishes of Queen of Peace, Cloquet; Holy family, Cloquet; St. Francis, Carlton; Sts. Mary and Joseph, Sawyer; Holy Rosary, Aurora; Queen of Peace, Hoyt Lakes; St. John, Biwabik; and Immaculate Conception, Pine City. He is currently pastor of St. James, Aitkin; Our Lady of Fatima, Garrison; and Holy Family, Hillman.