Father Ronald Dodd is granted senior status for health reasons

WASHBURN — Father Ronald Dodd, 70, recuperating from major surgery in late December, was granted senior status by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, effective March 1.

“The Lord has taken care of me,” Father Dodd told The Catholic Post this week. “When I realized where the (health) path was leading, I worked as long as I could,” said the former pastor of St. Mary, Metamora, and St. Elizabeth, Washburn. “Now I’m trying to get my strength back.”

Born Jan. 21, 1945, in Springfield, Father Dodd is a late vocation to the priesthood. He entered the seminary two years after the death in 1998 of his wife of 29 years, Jean Ihnken Dodd, and following his retirement from Caterpillar, Inc., where he was a senior systems analyst.

At the time he was active at St. Bernard Parish in Peoria, including the Men’s Club and RCIA. But “I started feeling there was more that I wanted to do (regarding) service to the church.”

After completing studies at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, Father Dodd was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria on May 28, 2005, at the age of 60.

“My greatest joy was being able to serve the people,” he said, reflecting on assignments that included four years as parochial vicar of St. Columba, Ottawa, and St. Mary, Grand Ridge; two years with the Streator Catholic parishes during the transition to the consolidated St. Michael the Archangel Parish; and two years as administrator and later pastor of St. Paul, Odell, and Sacred Heart, Campus.

He had been pastor of the Metamora and Washburn faith communities since 2013.

“Every place I’ve been there have been great people,” he said.

Now in retirement, Father Dodd has more time to spend with “great people” old and new in his personal life — his family. He is the stepfather of four, and has 13 stepgrandchildren and now 13 stepgreat-grandchildren.

Father Dodd is recuperating at the rural Washburn home of his step-daughter, Gayle. Cards and well wishes may be sent to Father Dodd at 2107 County Road 1800E, Washburn, IL 61572.

In March, Bishop Jenky named Father Gregory Jozefiak to serve as administrator of the Metamora and Washburn parishes. He will become pastor when the new assignments take effect on June 10, while also remaining pastor of St. Mary of Lourdes Parish in Germantown Hills.

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