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FR. JOHN A. ROLEK, ARCHDIOCESAN PRIEST, DIES
Ordained May 1, 1961

Chicago, IL ( April 23, 2007 ) -Fr. John A. Rolek, who throughout his priesthood, participated and championed projects in support of Chicago's Polish Catholics, died of complications following a heart attack at age 70 on Saturday, April 21, at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.

A Chicago native, Fr. Rolek was born on June 16, 1936 and was baptized at Chicago's St. Michael the Archangel Parish on the city's southeast side. Fr. Rolek attended and graduated from St. Michael the Archangel Elementary School in June 1949, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1954, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in 1961.

Fr. Rolek was ordained a priest on May 1, 1961, and the following Sunday, celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Parish. On July 5, 1961, he became assistant pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on the city's northwest side, where he remained until June 1966. He was then made assistant pastor of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Parish in south suburban Posen, where he remained until July 1969.

Beginning in the late 1960's, and until the time of his death, Fr. Rolek served on the Metropolitan Tribunal as a member, curator, judge and as the Cardinal's delegate for privilege cases.

Fr. Rolek also served as assistant pastor of the now-closed St. John of God Parish on Chicago's south side. Between July 1980 and September 1984, Fr. Rolek was associate pastor of Cicero's St. Mary of Czestochowa Parish, and left to become associate pastor of the now closed Immaculate Conception Parish on the city's south side until July 1990. Fr. Rolek also served at Cicero's Our Lady of Charity until June 1998, Berwyn's St. Leonard Parish until August 2005 and Forest Park's St. Bernardine until his recent hospitalization.

Visitation for Fr. Rolek will be from 3 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at St. Bernardine Parish, 7246 W. Harrison Ave., Forest Park. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25, Most Rev. Thomas Paprocki, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass at St. Bernardin Church for Fr. Rolek. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City.

The older of two boys born to John and Genevieve (Serwecinski), Fr. Rolek is survived by his brother Gerald who resides in Florida.

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