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Father Ramon “Ray” Dompke, CSSR

A funeral Mass for Father Ramon “Ray” Dompke, CSSR, was celebrated Jan. 12 at St. Michael Church in Old Town, Chicago. Father Dompke died Jan. 7 in the rectory of St. Michael Church, the place where he had been baptized 85 years ago on Jan. 8, 1939.

A generous Redemptorist with a ready smile and a loving spirit, Father Dompke was as dedicated to serving his confreres in community as he was to all of those he encountered in more than 50 years of parish ministry throughout the Midwest.

Ramon Richard was born to Roman and Marie Dompke on Dec. 18, 1938. He grew up around the Redemptorists at St. Michael’s in Old Town, and was thrilled to be an altar server as a fifth-grader at St. Michael’s Elementary School.

He attended St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Kirkwood, where he established lifelong friendships with his classmates. He proceeded to the novitiate at Mount St. Clement’s in DeSoto and professed temporary vows on Aug. 2, 1959. After completing theological studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, he professed perpetual vows on Sept. 2, 1962 and was ordained to the priesthood by Auxiliary Bishop Roman Atkielski, DD, of Milwaukee on July 2, 1964.

Newly ordained Father Dompke completed advanced courses in religious education during Tirocinium at St. Alphonsus Liguori “Rock” Parish in St. Louis, establishing a strong foundation for his five decades of parish ministry. He served as associate pastor of seven parishes during the next 29 years: St. Alphonsus Parish in Davenport, Iowa (1966-73); Holy Name Parish in Omaha, Nebraska (1973-77); St. Alphonsus Liguori “Rock” Parish in St. Louis (1977-78); Holy Redeemer Parish in Detroit (1978-81); St. Alphonsus Parish in Davenport (1981-82); St. Michael Parish in Chicago (1982-93); and St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago (1993-95).

Father Dompke was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on the West Side of Chicago in 1995. He was sincerely dedicated to serving the poor, and was well known in his hometown after more than a decade of ministry. When the parish closed in 2005, Father Dompke was appointed bursar of the Villa Redeemer/North American Novitiate community in Glenview, Illinois. He served as rector of the community from 2011 until 2015, when the property was sold.

Father Dompke was grateful to return to the staff at St. Michael’s, where he served for the next eight years. He felt blessed to be near his family, especially his elderly mother, whom he visited every week until she died at the age of 105 in 2019. In addition to serving the parish community, he volunteered to preach foreign mission appeals throughout the Midwest until his health began to decline. Although he had to step away from active ministry, he continued to participate fully in community life and serve his Redemptorist brothers with many small acts of kindness.

Burial was in the Redemptorist Cemetery in Liguori, Missouri.

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Father Ramon Ray Dompke CSSR 9323

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