REV. MSGR. DONALD DUNN
CLASS 1962 - CASA 2007
Monsignor Donald Dunn, a longtime Colorado Springs priest who helped establish the Marian House in Colorado Springs and spent more than 50 years working for Catholic Charities, died Sept. 5 at age 82.
Born in Denver on Dec. 12, 1936, Dunn was the oldest of three sons born to Francis and Mary Dunn. He graduated from Regis High School and later enrolled at St. Thomas Seminary in 1954. He studied at the North American College in Rome four years later and was one of the 54 men ordained at St. Peter’s Basilica in 1961 by Bishop Martin O’Connor.
Dunn’s first assignment was as an assistant pastor at Notre Dame Parish in Denver from 1962 to 1966. He received his master’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was when he returned to Denver in 1968 that Dunn was named assistant director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver.Notre Dame Parish in Denver from 1962 to 1966. He received his master’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was when he returned to Denver in 1968 that Dunn was named assistant director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Dunn’s work with Catholic Charities brought him to Colorado Springs, where he worked to establish Catholic Community Services, which later became Catholic Charities of Central Colorado. He was instrumental in building the Marian House facility that serves more than 500 people a day, including many of the city’s homeless, said Andy Barton, president of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado.
Dunn invariably had a love for mission work, his friends said. After visiting Monteria, Colombia, for a mission, he remained there for five years as a parish priest. He learned Spanish so that he could better minister to the people he served there.
Dunn returned from Columbia to Denver in 1985 due to a serious illness, accordin to an obituary from the diocese. Unable to continue the international mission work he loved, he focused his efforts on Colorado Springs.
In 1987, Dunn was named pastor of Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church. In 1991, Dunn was named vicar general of the diocese. Five years after that, he was named rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Nussbaum recalled when the cathedral was fundraising for money to renovate. Dunn had recently received a small family inheritance, which he promptly donated in its entirety to the church’s project.
In 2007, Dunn retired from full-time ministry. Two years later, he was one of the three priests in the Diocese of Colorado Springs to be elevated to the level of Prelates of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI, with the title of Reverend Monsignor.
Dunn is survived by his brother, Michael, sister-in-law Peggy, and several nieces and nephews.
A Denver vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Holy Family Parish, 4377 Utica St. A Colorado Springs vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, 6455 Brook Park Drive.
Dunn's funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Patrick’s.