Rev. James Polich
Reverend James Colin Kelly Polich passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston after a courageous battle with cancer. Father Polich was pastor at St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines for the past eleven years. Visitation will begin 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Augustin where the family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m., Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at St. Augustin Catholic Church, 545 42nd St., Des Moines IA. Bishop Richard Pates of the Diocese of Des Moines will be the principal celebrant of the mass along with fellow priests of the diocese. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.
Father Polich was born in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 24, 1944 and was the son of Michael John Polich and Catharine Mary Morris Polich. He grew up on a farm in Altoona, IA and attended St. Joseph Grade School and Dowling High School graduating in 1962. He was a student at Loras College and St. Bernard's seminary in Dubuque and also studied at Conception Abbey in Conception, MO. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1971 and celebrated his 40th Anniversary of Ordination on May 29, 2011. He also served as pastor at St. Mary's in Hamburg, IA, St. Mary's in Avoca, IA, St. Patrick's in Walnut, IA, Associate Pastor at Visitation and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Moines, Chaplain at Glenwood State Hospital in Glenwood, IA, and was on the faculty at St. Joseph Educational Center at Dowling High School.
Father Polich loved to teach seminarians and college students. A noted theologian, he returned to Conception Abbey to instruct the seminarians in the 90's before being appointed pastor at St. Augustin in 2000. Earlier in his career he taught at Creighton University in Omaha and taught Theology at Fordham University in New York City where he received his Ph.D. in Theology. He was a member of the National Theological and Biblical Societies, the Jesus Caritas Fraternity, and a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an accomplished world traveler and loved to visit Europe and meet distant relatives. He enjoyed spending time with his many nieces and nephews and celebrating family events. He had a great passion for classical music and opera.
Father Jim, as many loved to call him, is survived by sisters, Justine (Dr. Bill) Heffron of Centerville, IA, Honore (Bill) Sinnott of Pleasant Hill, IA, Catherine (Rob) Havelka of Albany, NY, Mary (Dutch) Welter of Des Moines, IA, brothers, Tony (Connie) Polich of West Des Moines, IA, Charles Polich of Des Moines, IA, sister-in-law, Celine Polich Moran of Kansas City, MO, uncle Larry (Mary) Polich of Mission, TX; 20 nieces and nephews and 44 great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Michael Polich.
Memorials may be directed to the St. Augustin Foundation. His family thanks the doctors, nurses, and staff at the John Stoddard Cancer Center and Mercy Hospice for all their help and compassion.