Rev. Erwin J. Dodge, O.S.A. (1924-2018)
Erwin James Dodge was born February 20, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois to Francis and Harriet Dlotkowski. He was Baptized Leonard Erwin Dlotkowski at St. Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Chicago, March 2, 1924. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation June 9, 1938 at Five Holy Martyrs Church, Chicago. By court decree dated January 6, 1947, the family name was changed from Dlotkowski to Dodge, and Erwin’s name was changed from Leonard Erwin Dlotkowski to Erwin James Dodge.
Erwin is a 1942 graduate of Kelly High School, Chicago. Erwin served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. He was honorably discharged in March, 1946, having attained the rank of Pharmacist’s Mate First Class. He then studied at Loyola University, Chicago, earning a B. S. in Biology in 1950.
He entered the Augustinian formation program in 1951. Following post-graduate studies at Saint Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, Erwin was received into the Augustinian Novitiate September 9, 1952. He professed temporary vows September 10, 1953 and solemn (permanent) vows September 10, 1956.
Following his temporary profession, he studied Philosophy at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1953 and 1954. He then followed the course of theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D. C., from 1954 to 1958. He earned an M. S. in Zoology from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1957. He was ordained a Priest June 5, 1957.
After completing his initial formation, Father Dodge was assigned in 1958 to Saint Rita High School, Chicago, where he served as teacher and band/cheerleader moderator.
He was transferred to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago in 1961. There he was a teacher, school newspaper and yearbook advisor, band moderator, athletic director and activities director. He also served as Province Seminary Parents’ Club Moderator during this time.
In 1981, Father Dodge was transferred to the Augustinian community at Saint Rita of Cascia Parish, Chicago, where he resided while serving as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital, Chicago, and at Palos Community Hospital, Palos Heights, Illinois. Later in 1981 he moved to Saint Rita High School Monastery, Chicago, while continuing his ministry as chaplain.
Father Dodge returned to teaching at Saint Rita High School, Chicago, in 1984. He was also band moderator at the school, and moderator of the Ladies of Tolentine, a group of women which supported Province formation programs.
In 1993, he was assigned to the Augustinian community of Saint Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago, residing at the nearby Saint Alypius House. He served as a part-time chaplain at Holy Cross Hospital, Chicago. He is currently retired from his ministry as chaplain.
When the Province withdrew from Saint Clare in 2002, Father Dodge was assigned to the Augustinian community of Saint Rita of Cascia Parish and continued to reside at Saint Alypius House.
Saint Alypius House was closed in 2003. At that time Father Dodge was assigned to Saint Monica Monastery, Chicago, where he continued to live in retirement. When Saint Monica Monastery was closed in 2010, Father Dodge moved to St. Rita High School Monastery, Chicago.
In 2016, he was assigned to Bl. Stephen Bellesini Friary, Crown Point, Indiana, where his health care needs could be better met.
On September 19, 2018, Father Dodge took his last breath and entered peacefully to eternal life.