Longtime Denverite and mountain pastor Father Randy Dollins will return to the city this summer to assume his new assignment as the Denver Archdiocese’s vicar general and moderator of the curia.
Father Dollins, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Breckenridge and Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne, was appointed by Archbishop Samuel Aquila to undertake the position at the chancery on the John Paul II Center campus effective May 21.
“I have a genuine enthusiasm to be down there and to serve the Archdiocese of Denver and serve the archbishop,” Father Dollins said.
He will succeed Msgr. Thomas Fryar, who served as vicar general and moderator for 10 years and as pastor for eight years at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception downtown.
After serving in several roles at the chancery since 1989 including vicar for clergy and vocations director, Msgr. Fryar will become the new pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial effective June 18.
“I’m finding that with all the mixed feelings, the hardest of the priesthood for me is leaving a community and taking a new assignment,” Msgr. Fryar said. “But I’ve also found God has never given me a call and assignment that hasn’t been a real blessing.”
For Father Dollins, the position represents a welcome change since his family and friends live in the Denver-metro area, he said.
“I’m excited to return to Denver,” Father Dollins said. “I’ve been in the mountains since I was ordained. All my friends and family are in Denver. I’m excited to be closer to them.”
Father Dollins has roots in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he was baptized before his family moved to Aurora in 1979.
A graduate of Overland High School, he worked as a graphic designer at a sportswear company before serving as a youth minister at his home parish Queen of Peace in Aurora. Father Dollins also served for the National Evangelization Teams in Minnesota before he returned to Denver and entered seminary.
Father Dollins earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology. He earned his master’s in divinity from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary.
He was marked with the seal of holy orders September 2006 upon his diaconal ordination and on May 2007 upon his priestly ordination at the Cathedral Basilica.
“I’ve been in Denver my whole life,” he said. “The archdiocese is really dear to me.”
Since his ordination, Father Dollins has ministered to the mountain community and oversaw the building of a $6 million, 13,000-square-foot church, Our Lady of Peace, in 2012.
He combined his love for the great outdoors with prayer and fellowship through “Power and Prayer with Padre.” The ministry was an avenue for area Catholics to join in prayer and ski together. He also offered a similar summer ministry called Hail Mary Hikes.
Father Dollins is behind the Lenten “Sacrificium” project that’s grown in popularity since 2010. Black or purple wristbands marked with the words “Sacrificium” were made to help faithful remember their intended sacrifices during the penitential season.
Between 2007 and 2011, Father Dollins served as parochial vicar at churches along the Western Slope. He became pastor at St. Mary in Breckenridge and was appointed vicar forane to oversee the Western Slope Deanery in 2011.
In 2013, he assumed the role of director of continuing formation for priests, a position he will continue while vicar general.
Father Dollins said he looks forward to collaborating with the archdiocesan offices and promoting the vision of the archbishop.