Carl A. Dehne obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Carl A. Dehne

November 13, 1936 - May 13, 2017

Obituary


Father Carl A. Dehne, S.J. was called to eternal life on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, MO. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 58 years and a priest for 46 years.

Born in St. Louis, MO, on November 13, 1936, he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Blessed Sacrament grade schools and St. Louis University High School, graduating in 1954. After high school, he earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy and German from Saint Louis University (1958) He entered the Society...

Father Carl A. Dehne, S.J. was called to eternal life on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, MO. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 58 years and a priest for 46 years.

Born in St. Louis, MO, on November 13, 1936, he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Blessed Sacrament grade schools and St. Louis University High School, graduating in 1954. After high school, he earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy and German from Saint Louis University (1958) He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary, Florissant, MO, on August 17, 1958. After First Vows and Juniorate studies at Florissant, he studied philosophy at Saint Louis University, earning the Ph. L. in 1965. His regency was at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO (1964-67). He studied theology at St. Mary's in Halifax and at Toronto School of Theology, earning the M. Div. in 1972. He was ordained on June 4, 1970 at St. Louis Cathedral in St. Louis , MO. His Tertianship was at was at Cushing Retreat House and Regis University in Denver, CO (173-74). He pronounced his final vows on December 8, 1976, at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. In 1978, he received the M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.

Carl spend a major part of his life as a teacher of theology first at Rockhurst University (1976-78) and then, for almost twenty years at Loyola University in Chicago (1978-1997). He served as chaplain at Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis, MO (1997-2003) before becoming a pastoral minister, located at the Jesuit Hall Community in St. Louis (2003-2015). In 2015, to accommodate his failing health, he was missioned to the Fusz Pavilion.

In approving Carl for major orders, Fr. Gerry Sheahan, the Provincial at the time, pointed out that Carl's fellow Jesuits noted his charity toward both Jesuits and non-Jesuits, his balanced judgement, cheerfulness, generosity, an dedication and added that he enjoyed an excellent reputation. His judgement showed itself in the ability to discern essentials from passing trends. His academic field was the liturgy, but his love for it went beyond scholarship. He sought and was granted permission to celebrate the liturgy according to the Byzantine rite by Maximos V, the Patriarch of Antioch. He was noted not just for his knowledge about liturgy but also and especially for his skill at putting it into practice and making sure that those present at a liturgy had a genuine experience of worship. As one Jesuit wrote to him after an Epiphany liturgy: "Your mastery of the complex ritual, a mastery which went far beyond external gesture or changed word and showed an understanding of its history and content."

In 1997, Carl began a new phase of ministry, shifting from university teaching to eldercare. However, typically, he had begun careful preparation some years before, while still at Loyola. The main locus of his ministry was at the Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis, run by the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George. He lived on site in a house designated for a chaplain. His mother had lived there in the last stages of her life. Carl had always been in great demand to lead retreats for women religious. In around 2003 he segued into full-time ministry with religious communities of women while he lived at Jesuit Hall. These communities included the Missionaries of Charity, Religious of the Good Shepherd, and the Sisters of Loretto. He was also regularly heard confessions and celebrated both weekday and Sunday Masses at the College Church.

Carl's reputation as an excellent liturgist grew from his being one who knew how to preside at the sacraments with intelligence and devotion The Liturgy of the Hours was very important to him, and he not only derived great consolation from it personally but helped open its riches for others. He played an important role for many Jesuits as they moved through formation, serving as mentor, spiritual director, or confessor-and sometimes all of those. He was always available to work with candidates. In all of this, his grace, care, and sense of humor were always apparent.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Harry Albert Dehne and Clara Menke Dehne. There are no other surviving relatives. Letters of condolence can be sent to his cousin, Sr. Joan Lacey, CSJ: