Father Jim Parke died on April 22, 2019. He was born on May 17, 1939 in McKeesport to Byron and Ruth Parke. He was predeceased by his parents, his sisters Gretchen and Jane Parke Sebest, and his brother Duane. He is survived by Faye, his sister-in-law, nieces Michelle Selnick, Denise Brusky, Jill Welch, nephews Jim and Jeremy Sebest and 12 great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by an adopted son Thomas Hardy, his children Andre, Amber, Zaria, and Jaaziah and six great-grandchildren.
He was active in Scouting and attained the Eagle Rank and was called to the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow. He earned his Master’s Degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He was ordained on May 1, 1965 in Pittsburgh and released to work with Sulpician Fathers in seminary work. He served as teacher and academic principal at Saint Joseph Seminary High School in Mountain View, CA and as director of a pastoral training program at Saint Mary’s Seminary College in Catonsville, MD. In 1975 he moved to the Diocese of Richmond to work with college students interested in ministry and priesthood. He served as Pastor at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Richmond, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Salem, Virginia and Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach. He also served as co-pastor at the Church of the Holy Apostles. In addition, he served as an associate with the Ministry to Priests program working in 40 dioceses throughout the world, chair of the retirement committee for Richmond for 12 years, vice-president of the Virginia Council of Churches. In Virginia Beach he served on the Human Rights Commission and was Volunteer Director for the Office of Volunteer Resources. He also served as director of the AfterCare Ministry for Altmeyer Funeral Homes. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads and a Board Member of the Tidewater Council, BSA.
His pastoral motto was to recognize that God chose to live within each of us with life to its fullest. His memorial will take place at the Church of the Ascension with Rev. Thomas A. Ianucci (CDR, CHC, USN) as Presider and Homilist on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 11 a.m. with inurnment in the parish Columbarium. Memorial donations can be made by clicking HERE.