Februrary 4, 2018

Msgr. James Parizek Passes Away


Msgr. James Parizek, retired pastor of Our Lady of Victory, passed away yesterday in Chicago.  Details are pending at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries.

Please join me as we pray after every lunch, “May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

Msgr. Parizek, affectionately just called Msgr., came to OLV in 2002 as the 4th pastor in the history of OLV.  He retired in 2016 after serving 14 years as pastor of Our Lady of Victory.  He deeply touched the lives of many people, including my wife and four children.  I was always proud to stand by him as a member of his staff, and I can only hope that he, too, was proud of me as a father might be of his children (or is that Father with an uppercase F).

Below is the message I gave him when he retired two years ago:



“I rarely know how to start these types of things or what to say.  I don’t consider myself to be all “mushy,” although my kids and some others may disagree, especially when it comes to writing, but I’m not sure I can adequately really capture my thoughts and feelings regarding your retirement.

I have worked with a number of priests over the years at Assumption and OLV/JFK.  There’s always a little trepidation when the “new priest” comes in.  What will he be like?  Will he be easy to work with?  Will we live up to his standards?  Will he accept the rest of us?  I knew we’d be OK at OLV/JFK when we started to get the wink of your eye.  That was our assurance that things would be OK!

Speaking of winks, I can remember at the last all school Mass for a school year about 8-12 years ago.  In the back of my mind, I was wondering if it was time to move along professionally.  Before I left for school that morning, I had written a few things on a note card that I wanted to mention at Mass.  Unbeknownst to me, you had changed the readings for the day, and based your homily then on the new readings.  When I heard the readings and your homily and realized that they matched almost word for word what I had been planning on saying, a calm came over me, and I knew OLV/JFK was still the place for me.  Barb Rohlf referred me to a book that described these types of coincidences, called “God-winks.”  A wink from you and a God-wink made all the difference for me.  This was where I belonged.

Over the years, we have emphasized our motto, “There is a difference in education.”  Your role has been fundamental in making this difference real.  You have celebrated class Masses, all school Masses, and Masses with students at Ridgecrest, and your flexibility to accommodate and reach the students of nine grade levels has been remarkable.  You’ve attended numerous shows and concerts and have been a part of the “life” of the school.  You have devoted so much of your schedule to class visits and tried to make them up when your schedule changed.  You have concelebrated at Assumption’s Baccalaureate Mass and, sometimes as the only pastor, attended every Assumption graduation.  I was proud last year to move up a row to sit next to you at the graduation so you wouldn’t have to sit by yourself!  As the only pastor and principal in attendance, we probably really sent a visual message together!  There is a difference in education at JFK because YOU have made it a difference.  We couldn’t be more appreciative.

When I put on my school badge every morning, I am proud to be associated with not just any Catholic school, but the Catholic school of Our Lady of Victory, the parish under your guidance, direction, and shepherding.

All four of my children, Colleen, Tom, Kirsten, and Caitlin have split feelings [about your retirement] as they have indicated that, really, you are the only pastor that they have really ever known.  They don’t know what it will be like without you.  All of us, including Lynn and I, are glad to have had you in our lives.  We wish you well in your retirement.”


Eternal rest, grant unto him, O LORD.  And let perpetual light shine upon him.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration for parishioners and families with siblings already at JFK begins on February 12th at 7:30 a.m.  Open registration for all others begins on February 15th at 8:00 a.m.

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19

Kindergarten Round-Up is on February 15th.  Two sessions are available:  8:00 – 9:30 a.m. and 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Please call ahead so we can have a special package ready for your child.

 Euchre Tournament

St. Anne’s Circle is sponsoring a Euchre tournament on March 3rd at 5:30 in the parish center.  Proceeds benefit OLV.  Entry fee is $25 per person or $50 for a team of two.  Teammates will plan together the entire night.  Single players are welcome.  Table assignments will be given the night of the event.  Heavy snacks provided, and BYOB.  For more information, please contact Loretta Reed (563-650-3040) or Helen White (563-391-3791).

Christian Experience Weekend

Consider saying “yes” to a Christian Experience Weekend retreat at OLV.  There is still time to sign up for the men’s retreat.  In the 17 years I have been at JFK, I cannot say that I know of anyone who has attended a CEW who hasn’t had his or her life transformed.  It provides a profound experience that allows one’s faith life to take a quantitative and/or qualitative leap, and it creates relationships in the faith community that will enhance one’s life now and ten years from now.  The retreats are held in the school building and church.  The men’s weekend is Feb 16-18.  Please call Hollie Matthys (563-343-1910) or Charlie Jones (563-940-9350), if you have questions or to register.  The actual applications can be found by clicking HERE.

Happy Joe’s Fundraiser
Home and School is sponsoring a family night at Happy Joe’s on Thursday, February 8th from 4 – 9 p.m. at the Jungle Bungle location on W. 50th Street.  Happy Joe’s donates a portion of the sales to our H & S.  Make it even more beneficial for us and for you by purchasing a Happy Joe’s Victory Voucher prior to the event.

4/5 Year Old Preschool Parent/Teacher Conferences

Preschool conferences for our 4/5 year old programs are on February 8 (8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.) and February 9 (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.).  These conferences are scheduled.  Please contact your child’s teacher, if you have not yet scheduled your conference.  There are no 4/5 year old PS classes on these two days.  Conferences for our three year old program will be in the spring.