St. Rose of Lima
June 9, 1965 - June 16, 1969

Associate pastor, Roseville

The Rev. Clarence Vavra was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in a St. Paul Cathedral ceremony on March 13, 1965. His first assignment as a priest was in Roseville. [MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson]

House of Representatives
April 3-16, 1969

Chaplain, St. Paul

Vavra was selected to serve as chaplain for the state House of Representatives for a short stint in April 1969. That year, the House hosted a series of religious leaders to serve as chaplain. [MPR Photo/Hart Van Denburg]

St. Philip
June 16, 1969 - Oct. 1, 1970

Associate pastor, Minneapolis

Vavra was assigned to St. Philip twice during his 38-year career. He served there first in the late 1960s and then again in the mid-1990s. St. Philip, established by Polish immigrants in North Minneapolis, became home to a congregation of French-speaking African immigrants later in its evolution. The church was closed in the archdiocese's 2011 reorganization, and merged with the nearby Church of the Ascension. [Photo courtesy of John Rys]

St. Peter

Associate pastor, North St. Paul

Vavra left North Minneapolis in the fall of 1970 and was assigned to St. Peter parish in North St. Paul. He stayed less than a year. St. Peter merged with the nearby Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Maplewood in 2007. [MPR Photo/Amanda Snyder]

Guardian Angels
Oct. 4, 1971 - July 2, 1972

Associate pastor, Hastings

Vavra spent another not-quite-yearlong stint just downriver from North St. Paul in Hastings. Guardian Angels has since closed. [Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society]

Leave of absence
July 2, 1972 - June 19, 1973


The Minnesota Catholic Directory lists no assignment for Vavra during 1972-72. The 1973 National Catholic Directory said he was "on sick leave." The New Prague Times would later report that Vavra had taken a leave of absence that year. [MPR photo of archdiocesan headquarters/Amanda Snyder]

St. Matthew
June 19, 1973 - June 17, 1975

Associate pastor, St. Paul

Vavra served for almost exactly two years at St. Matthew, his longest stretch since his first assignment at St. Rose of Lima in 1965. [MPR photo/Amanda Snyder]

Rosebud Indian Reservation
June 1975 - June 1976

Missionary, Diocese of Rapid City

Vavra served for a year at a Jesuit mission on the Rosebud Sioux tribe's reservation in south-central South Dakota. He later admitted to sexually abusing several young boys and a teenage boy during his time there. [AP Photo/File 1973]

Holy Spirit

Associate pastor, St. Paul

Vavra spent part of 1976 after his return from South Dakota back in St. Paul, but this time at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. [MPR Photo/Amanda Snyder]

Sacred Heart
June 15, 1977 - June 14, 1978

Pastor, Rush City

Vavra moved north from St. Paul for a yearlong stint as pastor of Sacred Heart in Rush City — and administrator of nearby St. Gregory in North Branch. [MPR Photo/Jeff Thompson]

State Training School
Beginning July 4, 1978

Chaplain, Red Wing

Vavra was first appointed full-time chaplain at the juvenile correctional facility, then the appointment was changed to a part-time position two weeks later. State records don't show when his work there ended. During his tenure in Red Wing, Vavra was in residence at St. Joseph parish, where he stayed until Jan. 15, 1979. [Photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society]

St. Wenceslaus
Jan. 15, 1979 - Dec. 1, 1979

Associate pastor, New Prague

Vavra returned to his hometown at the beginning of 1979 to work at the church he grew up in: He had graduated from St. Wenceslaus school in 1953. He stayed there only a year. [MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson]

St. Jerome
Dec. 1, 1979 - June 16, 1981

Associate pastor, Maplewood

In early December 1979, Vavra began what would become seven years of work in Maplewood, first at St. Jerome and later at Most Holy Redeemer. [MPR Photo/Amanda Snyder]

Most Holy Redeemer
June 16, 1981 - June 18, 1986

Pastor, Maplewood

Vavra moved across Maplewood in mid-1981 to lead the parish of Most Holy Redeemer, the church that would, in 2007, merge with St. Peter, where he'd served years before. [MPR Photo/Amanda Snyder]

June 18, 1986 - March 11, 1987


The 1987 National Catholic Directory says Vavra was on temporary assignment to the chancery, the archdiocese's headquarters in St. Paul. [MPR photo of archdiocesan headquarters/Amanda Snyder]

St. Genevieve
March 11, 1987 - July 1, 1987

Temporary administrator, Centerville

Vavra served for a few months in Centerville as temporary administrator of St. Genevieve. [MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson]

St. Nicholas
March 11, 1987 - Nov. 11, 1992

Pastor, New Market

Vavra's time at St. Nicholas overlapped with his temporary duties at St. Genevieve. He remained in New Market for one of his longest assignment periods: five years, which is not an unusual length of time for most priests to serve in a single parish. [MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson]

St. Philip
Nov. 11, 1992 - Aug. 9, 1996

Temporary administrator/pastor, Minneapolis

Vavra returned to St. Philip more than 20 years after his first assignment there, in 1969. He began his second time around as temporary administrator, and was then promoted to pastor in May 1993. [MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson]



In 1996, Vavra took a sabbatical and received inpatient psychological treatment, 20 years after his first leave of absence. [MPR photo of archdiocesan headquarters/Amanda Snyder]

Nativity of Mary
Jan. 6, 1997 - July 30, 1997

Associate priest, Cleveland

Vavra spent half of 1997 in Cleveland, Minn., before being transferred to the Faribault area, where he would spend the duration of his ministry. [MPR photo/Jeff Thompson]

Most Holy Redeemer
July 30, 1997 - May 17, 2003

Associate priest, Montgomery

Vavra spent the last years of his work as a priest at Most Holy Redeemer in Montgomery, Minn., and at St. Patrick in Shieldsville, Minn., serving both parishes as associate priest. He agreed to retire in May 2003, and worked out an agreement with then-Archbishop Harry Flynn that would provide him extra payments beyond his monthly pension stipend. [MPR photo/Jeff Thompson]