Fr. Dunklee led mission, ethics work

February 1, 2011

Fr. Lawrence Dunklee, 58, died Jan. 7 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis. He was system director of ethics for Hospital Sisters Health System of Springfield, Ill., and a member of CHA's theologian and ethicist committee.

Larry Schumacher, Hospital Sisters' interim president and chief executive, said of Fr. Dunklee, "anyone who had the privilege of hearing Father offer an inspirational homily during Mass, or saw him gently touch the hands of a dying patient while offering the Sacrament of the Sick, knew that he was a deeply spiritual man.

"Through his many talents and gifts, (Fr. Dunklee) offered the healing compassion of Christ to all those he encountered," Schumacher said.

Fr. Dunklee entered St. Francis Seminary of Milwaukee after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974. Four years later, he received his Master of Divinity and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis. He spent most of his career at parishes and hospitals in that diocese.

In 2005, Sacred Heart Hospital named Fr. Dunklee director of pastoral care; and in 2006, it appointed him mission integration director. While a leader at Sacred Heart Hospital, Fr. Dunklee founded a Center for Spiritual Care, helped to form more than 1,400 staff members in the Franciscan tradition, and headed a grief and bereavement center.

In 2007, Sacred Heart Hospital's parent, the Hospital Sisters system, named Fr. Dunklee vice president of mission and pastoral services for the system's Western Wisconsin division. Last February, Hospital Sisters promoted him to director of ethics for the system.


Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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