Four clergy celebrating 65 years of priesthood

The following priests of the archdiocese are celebrating the 65th anniversaries of their ordination in 2020

Rev. Harold J. Drexler, a retired priest who resides in Dubuque, was born March 22, 1922, to William and Irene (Mock) Drexler of Dyersville.

He attended Loras College in Dubuque and graduated from Maryknoll College in Ossining, New York. He completed his theological studies at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore.

He was ordained May 21, 1955, by Archbishop Leo Binz at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville.

He served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Rockwell, St. Lawrence Parish, Swaledale, and St. John Parish, Cartersville, 1955-56; St. Joseph Parish, Waterloo, 1956-61; Sacred Heart Parish, Dubuque, 1961-66; St. Patrick Parish, Cedar Falls, and St. Mary Parish, Dike, 1966-70; and St. Patrick Parish, Waukon, and St. John the Baptist Parish, West Ridge, 1970-72.

He served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Volga, and St. Joseph Parish, Wadena, 1972-76; St. Boniface Parish, New Vienna, 1976-86; and St. Luke Parish, Hopkinton, and Immaculate Conception Parish, Sand Springs, from 1976 until his retirement in 1997.

Father Drexler served as ACCW moderator for the Independence Deanery in 1989.

 

Rev. Carl J. Manternach was born May 14, 1929, to George and Clara (Kurt) Manternach of Monticello.

He graduated from Loras College and took his theological training at Mount St. Bernard Seminary, Dubuque. He was ordained on Feb. 5, 1955, at Christ the King Chapel, Loras College, by Archbishop Leo Binz.

His first assignment was as an associate at St. Joseph’s, New Albin, for a short time before being appointed associate at St. Boniface, New Vienna. In 1957, he was appointed to Holy Ghost, Dubuque, where he served for the next five years. He was appointed associate at St. Peter’s, New Haven, in 1962, and was assigned to St. Patrick’s, Anamosa, in 1963, during which time he also served as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Anamosa.

He was named associate at St. Mary’s, Guttenberg, in 1968; St. Joseph’s, Mason City, in 1969; and St. Joseph’s, Marion, in 1970.

In 1971, he was named pastor of St. Peter & Paul’s, Gilbert, and Good Shepherd, Jewell, during which time he also served as administrator at St. Mary’s, Williams.

He also served pastorates at Immaculate Conception, Lansing, 1976-80; Visitation, Stacyville, 1980-90; and Sacred Heart, Meyer, and St. Mel’s, McIntire, 1987-90.

In 1990, he was named pastor of St. John the Baptist, Peosta, and Holy Family, New Melleray, serving until his retirement in 1999.

 

Rev. John P. Ptacek, a retired priest residing in Dyersville, was born Sept. 23, 1929, in Elma to Anton and Almie (Vonasek) Ptacek.

He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque and completed his theological studies at the former Mount St. Bernard Seminary, also in Dubuque.

He was ordained Feb. 5, 1955, at Christ the King Chapel, Loras College, by Archbishop Leo Binz.

He served as associate pastor at All Saints Parish, Cedar Rapids, 1955-61; Sacred Heart, Monticello, 1961-67; St. Paul’s, Worthington, 1967-69; St. Athanasius, Jesup, 1969-70; and Immaculate Conception, Charles City, 1970-71.

He was pastor of the Assumption of the BVM, Little Turkey, and Sacred Heart, Reilly Ridge, 1971-76; Holy Trinity, Protivin, 1976-82; Holy Trinity, Luxemburg, 1982-92; St. Patrick’s, Colesburg, 1987-92; and St. Joseph’s, Farley, from 1992 until his retirement in 2000.

He also served as executive secretary of Seton Catholic Consolidated School, 1993-2000.

 

Msgr. Joseph J. Slepicka, retired priest, residing in Clear Lake, was born Aug. 23, 1929, to William and Martha ­(Hebel) Slepicka of Mason City.

He graduated from Loras College, Dubuque, and took his theological training at Mount St. Bernard Seminary, Dubuque, and was ordained Feb. 5, 1955, at Christ the King Chapel, Loras College, by Archbishop Leo J. Binz.

His first assignment was as secretary to retired Archbishop Henry P. Rohlman, before being assigned as an associate at Immaculate Conception, Charles City, in 1955.

He was appointed an associate at St. Patrick’s, Waukon, in 1960, where he served until 1968, when he was assigned to St. Raphael Cathedral, Dubuque. From 1970 to 1971, he taught theology at Loras College, while serving as dean of student affairs, associate dean of students and director of Keane Hall.

He was named pastor of Sacred Heart, Manly, in 1971 and served on the faculty of Newman High School, Mason City. During his parish assignments, he also served on the high school faculties of the parishes to which he was assigned. In 1980, he joined team ministry in Mason City as administrator of Holy Family Parish, becoming pastor in 1985. While continuing to serve at Holy Family, he was appointed an archdiocesan consultator and member of the priest council in 1984 and in 1988, dean of the Mason City Deanery. While continuing to serve in these appointments, he was named pastor of St Patricks, Clear Lake from 1991 until his retirement in 1999. In April 1991, he was elevated to the rank of prelate of honor with the title of monsignor.