Biographies

Father Dennis T. Dunne, MM

Born: September 7, 1945
Ordained: June 2, 1990
Died: December 19, 2006

Father Dennis T. Dunne died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN on December 19, 2006. He was 61 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 16 years.

Dennis Thomas Dunne was born in Vesta, Minnesota on September 7, 1945, son of Thomas and Lillian Soupir Dunne. He has one brother and two sisters. He graduated from Jefferson Senior High School in Alexandria in 1963, and went on to earn a B.S. in Social Studies from St. Cloud State University in 1967. He then volunteered for the Peace Corps, serving two years in Arani, Bolivia working with the Quechan people, followed by two years in Puerto Rico teaching English and Spanish to disadvantaged adults.

Upon his return to the United States, he taught high school, including special education students, in Wabasha, Pine River and Onamia, Minnesota, while also earning an M.S. degree in Special Education from St. Cloud University in 1982.

He entered Maryknoll on August 22, 1983 and, after initial formation, was assigned to Thailand for his Overseas Training Program. Father Dunne was ordained at Maryknoll, New York on June 2, 1990 and assigned to Bolivia. He worked in Riberalta, Bolivia until he was recalled to the United States in August 1995, when he was assigned to the Development Department, working in the Minneapolis area.

In September 1998 Father Dunne took over the directorship of the Maryknoll Development office in Minneapolis and remained an active member of the Mission Education and Promotion Department up to a few months before his death. While Director, he also looked after his ailing mother in the final years of her nursing home care. He happily handed on the director position to Mr. Greg Darr in September 2000 and began to reside at St. Patrick’s parish in Edina, Minnesota, staying involved in the apostolate of mission promotion and providing limited pastoral service to the community at St. Patrick’s. The generous response by the Churches in the upper Midwest to Father Dunne’s well-prepared mission appeals testifies to the sincerity of his message about the importance of mission.

Wake services were held on December 27 and 28, 2006 at the Church of St. Patrick of Edina, Edina, MN. The funeral Mass was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on December 28th at the Church of St. Patrick of Edina. Burial followed in Vesta, Minnesota, where his parents are buried. A memorial service was held at the Society Center at a later date.