Bio: Dunne, Arthur B. C. Rev. (1914)


Surnames: Dunne, O’Donnell, Flasch

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 702-703

Rev. Arthur B. C. Dunne is pastor of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church of Eau Claire, but the fame of his beneficent work and influence has spread beyond the borders of this city, county and state. His ministry has been wonderfully successful in his parish and his lectures and writings have attracted the attention of an audience scattered all over the West.

Father Dunne was born at Prairie du Chien, Wis., June 2, 1866, the son of Michael and Catherine (O'Donnell) Dunne. His father was a native of Ireland and his mother of Quebec, Canada. He received his early education in the parochial and public schools of Prairie du Chien, and at the age of fourteen entered St. John's University at Collegeville, Minn. In 1881 he was admitted to Sacred Heart College, Prairie du Chien, where he studied the classics for four years and was graduated in 1885. He then pursued his studies in philosophy and theology at St. Francis' Seminary, Milwaukee, for four years, and was graduated in 1889. His whole course of studies and training had been directed toward his preparation for the priesthood, and on July 7, 1889, he was ordained at La Crosse, Wis., by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Killian Flasch. On July 19 of the same year he was appointed assistant pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Eau Claire, and officiated in that position until October 6, 1891, when he assumed the duties of pastor. Thus, at the early age of twenty-five he was given a field for the full scope of the rare powers of mind, heart and tongue with which he is richly endowed.

For more than a quarter of a century Father Dunne has been connected with St. Patrick's Church and his labors have been fruitful, his mission a success. During his pastorate the membership of the church has increased by about 300 families, embracing approximately 1,500 souls and 700 converts have come into the fold from other denominations. As a reclaimer of men Father Dunne's record is so wonderful that no less an authority than The Literary Digest has referred to him as the premier convert maker of the West. As rose trees in a garden send out their fragrance to wayfarers on all sides, so his piety, zeal and personality attract wandering souls to his vineyard. He loves humanity and even the stranger feels instantly the warmth of his brotherly interest.

The temporal affairs of his parish have prospered commensurate with the spiritual. Under his supervision a new three-story brick school building, 112x96 feet, was dedicated in 1907 at a cost of $40,000; a Benedictine convent was completed in 1909 at a cost of $15,000, and in 1914 a parochial residence was erected at an outlay of another $15,000.

Father Dunne is beloved by his own people and greatly respected by the public at large. Devout, spiritual and zealous, he is a great moral force in his community. The charm of his personality impresses all who meet him, and the warmth of his charity is a reflection of the divine compassion. Yet he never hesitates to attack error and wrong, hut always with the dignity of a high purpose.

He is widely noted for his eloquence and has attained distinction on the platform. His lectures: "The Human Violin," "The Average Man" and "Woman's Debt to Christianity," have drawn the highest eulogies from people and the press, but the "call" of his church restricts his activities in this secular line of work, which, from a worldly view, is to be regretted, for there is a touch of divine fire in his oratory.



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