First Divine Word Missionary to serve in Kenya dies in Massachusetts

Father Edward "Spike" Dudink, 1916-2009

Dudink,_Fr_Edward_for_webDivine Word Missionary Father Edward "Spike" Dudink, 90, died on Monday, June 8, in Boston, Mass. A Chicago native, Father Dudink distinguished himself as the first Divine Word Missionary to work in Kenya.

"I first met Spike when I was a novice and later he was my rector at Divine Word Theologate," said Rev. Mark Weber SVD, provincial superior of the Society of the Divine Word’s Chicago Province. "Spike was one of the calmest people I know."

Born in 1919, he was one of Garrett and Gilda (Schuit) Dudink’s ten children. After graduating from St. Nicholas Grade School in Chicago, the 14-year-old Dudink headed north and entered St. Mary’s Seminary at Techny, Ill.

In 1941, he professed his religious vows and became a Divine Word Missionary. After ordination to the priesthood in 1946, Father Dudink worked in education and formation. From 1971 to 1976, he served as novice master at Bay St. Louis, Miss., and then accepted an assignment as the first Divine Word Missionary to minister in Kenya.

In 1979, he returned to Chicago, where he became rector of the Divine Word Theologate, and later founded a house of prayer in Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

Father Dudink studied education at Marquette University and received a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Beginning in 1986, Father Dudink spent his retirement years working as a spiritual director and counselor at Miramar Retreat Center, facilitating directed, guided and preached retreats. A certified handwriting analyst and an avid gardener, Father Dudink’s passion for perennials led to the Miramar Retreat Center’s thriving landscapes.

Father Dudink’s visitation will be held at Miramar Retreat Center on Thursday, June 11, from 4 to 8 p.m. The retreat center is located at 121 Parks St., Duxbury, Mass. His funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m., Friday, June 12, at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 40 Canal St., Green Harbor, Marshfield, Mass.

Father Dudink’s body will be brought to Techny, Ill., where there will be visitation at Divine Word Residence from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, with a funeral Mass on Monday, June 15, at 10:30 a.m. He will be interred at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Techny.

Father Dudink is survived by a brother, Fred Dudink of Kenosha, Wis., and a sister, Anne Donovan of Lowell, Ind. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to The Rector, Miramar Retreat Center, P.O. Box M, Duxbury, MA 02331.

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