In June of 1981, Fr. Raymond G. Monsour came to Ascension as the co-pastor with Monsignor Coates. Monsour had served several parishes in St Paul and also served at the Archdiocesan mission in southeastern Venezuela from 1970-1974. In 1985, Coates retired, and Fr. Monsour was named as Ascension’s fifth pastor.
Fr. Monsour helped transition Ascension into a parish that could meet the social and multi-cultural needs of the changing neighborhood. He presided at a monthly Spanish mass and also had periodic Native American masses. He fought for social and racial justice.
Fr. Robert Hazel was named Ascension’s sixth pastor in 1993.
Ascension was without a permanent priest for six months before Fr. Michael J. O’Connell was installed as Ascension’s seventh pastor, in October 1999. Coincidentally, Fr. O’Connell spent part of his deaconate year before ordination at Ascension. Learning from Monsignor Coates during that tumultuous summer of 1965 strongly influenced Fr. O’Connell’s views on racial issues and social justice. Fr. O’Connell was the Rector at the Basilica of Saint Mary before coming to Ascension. He is strongly committed to the revitalization of the near North Side and to promoting and celebrating the people of many cultures attending Ascension parish and Ascension School today.
Father O’Connell retired from active ministry in June of 2015. He retains the title of Pastor Emeritus at Ascension.
Father Dale Korogi was pastor of the Church of Christ the King for 12 years before coming to Ascension. He was born and raised in North Minneapolis, the youngest of four sons of Joseph and Mary Korogi. He grew up in St. Philip’s parish, where he attended grade school. He graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and the University of Saint Thomas, where he earned a BA in Theology. His seminary studies took him to the North American College in Rome. There he received an STB (Baccalaureate in Theology) from the Gregorian University and an STL (Licentiate in Sacramental Theology) from the Athenaeum of Saint Anselm. In 1983, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. His work there has included posts as Vocation Director, Rector of Saint John Vianney Seminary, Parochial Vicar of the Basilica of Saint Mary, and Chaplain at North Memorial Medical Center.
Fr. Dale is committed to continuing and expanding the vision of Fr. O’Connell of “Life in Abundance” in our North Side community.