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Monsignor James Francis Parizek


The entire Catholic Diocese of Davenport and beyond mourn the death of our great friend and compassionate spiritual leader, Monsignor James Francis Parizek, age 71. He died on Feb. 3, 2018, at St. Mary's Hospital in Chicago of an apparent heart attack. When his parishioners, friends and family gather, we will miss his dry wit, colorful storytelling, gentle spirit and, most of all, his devotion to making the world kinder. Those who were fortunate to know and love Father Jim know of his special fondness for working with the hearing-impaired community so that they, too, could hear the word of God.
Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral, concluding with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Funeral services, including a Mass of Christian Burial, for Monsignor Parizek will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9, with a visitation at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 422 E. 10th St., Davenport. Burial will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Iowa City at 3 p.m. on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sacred Heart Cathedral Foundation, Our Lady of Victory Foundation or the American Cancer Society. Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. Online condolences and remembrances may be left by visiting Monsignor Parizek's obituary page at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.
James Francis Parizek was born in 1946 in Iowa City, Iowa, to Lester John and Regina Mary (Lekin) Parizek. He graduated from Regina Catholic High School in 1964, and from St. Ambrose College in Davenport in 1968 with a degree in philosophy. He earned a master's degree in theology from the American College of the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1972. On July 15 of that year, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerald O'Keefe at Father Jim's home parish, St. Wenceslaus, in Iowa City. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport.
Always striving for new ways to serve the Lord, Father Jim received his Canon Law degree from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1978. This afforded him the opportunity to serve as assistant chancellor for the diocese and auditor for the Diocese Marriage Tribunal. That year, he also became vice officialis and prosynodal judge of the tribunal. In addition, he served as secretary at the national office of the Canon Law Society, and was appointed vice chancellor, judicial vicar and director of the tribunal, where he served from 1981 until 2001. Father Jim received the title of monsignor in 1989. Throughout his tenure as judicial vicar, Father Jim always looked forward to assisting parishes throughout the Davenport diocese, ministering to the hearing-impaired community, the Carmelite nuns, Ridgecrest Retirement Home and the Kahl Home.
Monsignor Parizek earned his longstanding wish to return to parish life in 2001 when he was appointed parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Davenport. A year later, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish, also in Davenport, until his retirement in 2016. Father Jim provided outstanding leadership and pastoral care to Our Lady of Victory Parish and JFK School, and often remarked how his last assignment as Pastor of OLV was the highlight of his ministry.
In addition to his pastoral duties at Our Lady of Victory Church, Father Jim continued to serve as tribunal judge, delegate of the bishop as promoter of justice for the Davenport Deanery, and later as dean until 2016.
Monsignor is survived by his siblings, Marilyn Reid, Savannah, Ga., Robert (Diane) Parizek, Lafayette, Colo., and John Parizek, Chicago, Ill.; his aunts, Helen Sawyer, Winterset, Iowa, and Eleanor Johnson, San Antonio, Texas; niece, Elizabeth (David) DeWitt; nephews, Greg (Janelle) Reid, Jeff Reid, Daniel Parizek, Matthew Parizek and Eric Parizek; and many cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews. During his life, he also enjoyed many close friends, including Ken Koupal and Father Rich Adam.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Michael; and a brother-in-law, William Reid.