Rev. John Scribner Dunne

1929 - 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. John Scribner Dunne, C.S.C., 83, died Monday (Nov. 11, 2013) at Holy Cross House.

Fr. Dunne was born on Dec. 3, 1929, to John Scribner and Dorothy (Vaughn) Dunne in Waco, Texas. He attended St. Edward's Academy in Austin, Texas, from 1943 to 1945, and then moved to Holy Cross Minor Seminary at the University of Notre Dame (Ind.) for his senior year. Fr. Dunne was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross on Aug. 15, 1946 and made his First Vows on Aug. 16, 1947. He studied philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated in 1951. Fr. Dunne made his Final Profession of Vows on Aug. 16, 1951, and was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 18, 1954, in Rome. He earned an S.T.L. in Sacred Doctrine in 1955 and an S.T.D. in 1958, both from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Fr. Dunne returned to Notre Dame in 1957 and began teaching and prefecting. He studied at Princeton University from 1960 to 1961, and also served as a chaplain at Our Lady of Princeton. He returned to Notre Dame to teach from 1961 to 1967. He taught at Moreau Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame from 1969 to 1970 and then again at Notre Dame from 1970 to 1972. Fr. Dunne was a visiting professor at Yale University from 1972 to 1973 before coming back to Notre Dame to teach from 1973 to 2013. He spent several sabbatical years at the Holy Cross Center, Berkeley, Calif., throughout his tenure at Notre Dame. Fr. Dunne was the John A. O'Brien Professor of Catholic Theology at Notre Dame. He published numerous books and received several awards from ND, including the 2013 Presidential Award, the Sheedy Award and the Danforth Foundation Harbison Award. He is credited by the Notre Dame Theology Department as having taught more students than anyone else in the University's history. In 1999, Fr. Dunne was named as one of the most influential spiritual writers of the 20th century. Fr. Dunne also received a first-place award for his book, "Eternal Consciousness," from the Catholic Press Association in June 2013.

Fr. Dunne's parents are deceased. He is survived by his sister, Carrin Mary Dunne; brother Patrick (Margaret) Dunne; nephews, James Michael Dunne and John (Rebecca) Dunne; and great-niece and -nephew, Catherine and Nolan.

Visitation will be Thursday (Nov. 14, 2013) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. The Funeral Mass will be Friday (Nov. 15, 2013) at the Basilica, with committal immediately following at the Holy Cross community cemetery on the campus of Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

Published on from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, 2013