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Priests mark jubilee anniversaries of 40 and 25 years
By Denver Catholic Register
This year, several priests serving in the Denver Archdiocese are celebrating jubilee anniversaries of 40 and 25 years. They were honored at the April 19 Chrism Mass.
Capuchin Father Charles Polifka
A native of Kansas, Father Polifka was ordained a priest of the Order Friars Minor Capuchin Aug. 21, 1971, in Hays, Kan. He began his ministry in Kansas as a teacher at St. Thomas More Prep School in Hays and eventually became the school’s principal. He also served as novice master at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria. Father Polifka has been pastor at St. John’s Parish in Lawrence and St. Fidelis Parish in Victoria. Currently, he serves in Denver as provincial for the Capuchin Mid-America Province, which he did previously from 1988-1995.
Capuchin Father Simeon Gallagher
Born in Philadelphia, Penn., Father Gallagher was ordained a priest of the Order Friars Minor Capuchin on Aug. 28, 1971. In Kansas he worked in campus ministry at Fort Hays State University and later served as co-pastor at Good Shepherd Church in Shawnee. In 1980, he came to Colorado where he served as pastor at Holy Cross Parish in Thornton. His preaching ministry began in 1984 and has taken him to St. Patrick’s Fraternity and St. Crispin Friary in St. Louis, Mo., and to St. Elizabeth Fraternity and St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Denver. He has presented many parish missions and retreats to religious communities and open retreats in retreat centers.
Dominican Father Robert Staes
On May 29, 1971, Dominican Father Robert Staes was ordained for the Archdio-cese of Davenport, Iowa, and joined the Dominican order in 1984. His pastoral assignments include parochial vicar at St. Patrick and St. Thomas More Parishes in Iowa City, Iowa. He taught at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa, and St. Vincent Ferrer in Chicago and directed the Newman Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. In Colorado, Father Staes served on the faculty of St. Thomas Theological Seminary and as prior of St. Dominic Priory, where he currently resides.
Msgr. Gregory Ames, V.F.
Father Gregory Ames was ordained a priest of the Denver Archdiocese on Aug. 2, 1986. His three parochial vicar assignments took him to Shrine of St. Anne Parish in Arvada; Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Boulder and St. Jude Parish in Lakewood. He was then appointed pastor at St. Peter Parish in Greeley. He currently serves as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Northglenn and administrator of Guardian Angels Parish in Mead. Father Ames has served as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus Council 539, to J.K. Mullen High School and the Serra Club of Greeley. He is dean of the North Denver Deanery and assistant vocation director for the Archdiocese of Denver.
Jesuit Father Raymond Gawronski
Father Raymond Gawronski was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus order on June 14, 1986. He served as parochial vicar of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in Washington, D.C., then went on to a professorship at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Father Gawronski now teaches, and is spiritual director and mentor to seminarians at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
Dominican Father Thomas Lynch
Ordained a priest of the Dominican order on May 10, 1986, Father Tho-mas Lynch has devoted a great deal of his priestly service on behalf of young people as campus minister at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., teaching at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill., and in large measure as a formator, teacher and pastor at the Dominican Vicariate in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He is in residence at St. Dominic Parish in Denver and is currently the parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lafayette.
Father Marcus Medrano
Father Medrano is a native of Denver and was ordained a priest of the Denver Arch-diocese on Aug. 2, 1986. He served initially as assistant pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Arvada and for 18 years as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Denver. Today, although retired, Father Medrano said he stays active by “keeping busy” celebrating Mass at Our Lady of Fatima in Lakewood, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Northglenn and St. Martin de Porres in Boulder.