Fr. Brunskill, pastor in Havana, Manito, granted senior status

Call him a senior priest, but don’t call Father Richard Brunskill retired.
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has granted Father Brunskill senior status for health reasons. The appointment becomes effective Aug. 11.

The pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Havana and Immaculate Conception Mission in Manito until then, Father Brunskill said he will remain active — just a little less active.

“A friend said they needed a priest in Piper City,” Father Brunskill said. “That’s in the Joliet diocese. I will say Mass on Wednesday and Sunday, and go to the nursing home for a little service on Fridays.”

He is also making himself available to area parishes for daily Mass, when asked and able.

“I’ll still be active,” he said. “I just can’t do two Masses a day anymore. It’s just a little too much.”

Father Brunskill’s sister, Barb, who has been living with him, will go to St. Peter’s in Piper City, too. They will live in the rectory, which is vacant currently.

The arrangement also brings him closer to his mother, Jayne, who lives in a nursing home in Pontiac. Piper City is only about 25 miles away, he said.
He has also offered his services to St. Mary’s Parish in Pontiac and will celebrate the Vigil Mass of the Assumption there on Aug. 14.

Father Brunskill was born in Pontiac on Aug. 20, 1944, although he never attended St. Mary’s Church. He was baptized in the Episcopal Church and wasn’t received into the Catholic Church until 1974, while he was teaching English, journalism and speech at Chatsworth High School.

The call to the Catholic Church was soon followed by a call to the priesthood. He studied at St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana and was ordained on May 28, 1983, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

After ministering as parochial vicar at Holy Trinity in Bloomington and chaplain at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington with residence at St. Patrick’s in Wapella, Father Brunskill served as pastor of St. Joseph’s, Colfax, and St. Rose, Strawn; St. Teresa’s, Earlville; Sts. Peter and Paul, Chatsworth, St. John’s, Cullom, and St. James Forrest; and St. Mary’s, Westville.

He has been pastor in Havana and Manito since 2008.

Father Brunskill asked that people join him and his sister in praying for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Not only is this witness needed, but it is important for everyone to have the close, personal relationship with Jesus that prayer fosters, he said.

He can be reached at St. Peter’s Church, 212 Pine St., P.O. Box 186, Piper City, IL 60959, after Aug. 8. Father Brunskill also welcomes e-mail at

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