Friday, February 27, 2009

More on Dunstan Morrissey, O.S.B.

Dunstan at the house of silence and prayer that he founded.
He called it "Sky Farm."

Father Dunstan Morrissey

Here is the obituary of this most extraordinary man:
Fr. Dunstan Morrissey, O.S.B., died on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at the age of 85. He was the son of Robert and Joy Buchanan Morrissey and graduated magna cum laude from University of Notre Dame. He also attended L'Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva, and Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Bombay. He served as a U.S. Vice Consul at Alexandria, Egypt before entering monastic life at St. Bede Abbey, Peru, Illinois where he taught and was ordained a priest. Fr. Dunstan devoted the rest of his life to his vocation as a hermit monk, in silence, solitude, and solidarity with the world.
His was a life of solitude, silence and prayer lived with such integrity that the lives of those fortunate enough to discover it were changed by his witness.


John Anngeister said...


I remember an interesting day helping Dunstan paint the outside of his new refectory at Sky Farm. He had christened it the Simone Weil Refectory. It wasn't yet completely furnished inside.

And I'm sure you recall that lovely small chapel which was constituted in one huge oaken wine vat. What a sacramental scent pervaded the place!

How is Sky Farm? Under a new monk?
Was Dunstan able to stay there before he died?

I've lost touch. But silent prayer has been very strong in the mornings since Wednesday.

-John Simonitch
Sonoma, Ca.

Mike Freiling (the dad) said...

My daughters and I were lucky enough to meet Fr. Dunstan through my sister Margaret who was a new friend of his these last few years. Fr. was very generous in his prayers and concern for my daughter when she had a kidney transplant a year and a half ago and for me whose kidney she received. Fr. Dunstan specifically asked that we pray for him the 3 days following his death. So let us all pray! May he rest in peace and may the angels lead him to Paradise! Elizabeth Freiling

Scott said...

Hi, Gil, I remember sharing a house with Dunstan, where I first met you, out on Castle Road, a long time ago. Shannon S. was in Hawaii, I think, and I was house sitting with Dunstan. I saw him at the dentist's office, last year and he was so happy to be in town and being well taken care of. He seemed really at ease and grateful, even after having had a stroke. He helped me figure out what do do with myself, when I was young and clueless. I only found out about his passing, when I just now googled him. I get the feeling he is truly happy, where he is now; thank you for sharing the great pictures!

Scott Hales

Maria Housden said...

I would love to know where his beloved notes and clippings are now. His silence, as well as his appreciation for the Word, inspired blessing. <3