Rest in Peace my dear friend and mentor

Sept. 29, 1922 – Aug. 12, 2007MISHAWAKA – Francis Bluma was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin where he attended St. Mary of the Angels elementary school. He began his secondary education at East High School in Green Bay but graduated from St. Bonaventure High School & Minor Seminary in Sturtevant, Wisconsin in 1941. Called to the religious life and priesthood, he entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Order (Assumption Province) in Pulaski, Wisconsin receiving the name “Dacian.” Following his profession of vows, Dacian began the study of philosophy at St. Francis College in Burlington, Wisconsin where he also pronounced solemn vows in August, 1945. His theology program commenced at Lourdes Seminary, Cedar Lake, Indiana but was completed at St. Mary of the Angels in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was ordained on June 11, 1949, by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona. Fr. Dacian’s first assignment after ordination was to Assumption Friary in Pulaski, Wisconsin as assistant provincial librarian. In 1951, he was sent to St. Francis College in Burlington to teach Latin and fulfill the duties as friary librarian and chronicler while acting as spiritual director to the clerics. With increasing vocations to the province, Fr. Dacian was selected for graduate studies at the Antonianum in Rome, Italy. Over the next three years (1954-7), he received a licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology. Upon his return, he was assigned to Queen of Peace Friary in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as assistant director of novices. The slow pace of the novitiate enabled Fr. Dacian to conduct retreats for various congregations of religious Sisters. His preaching of the Gospel message made him a much sought-after retreat master. He was also appointed provincial historian (1958-63), compiling and editing a history of the province that was published in 1966. Being the gift that he was to the fraternity, Fr. Dacian was called, at the Provincial Chapter in 1963, to serve on the provincial council. In the post-capitular meeting, he was appointed to the faculty at the province’s theologate, Christ the King Seminary in West Chicago, Illinois to be the director of formation to the theology students. With the Chapter of 1966, youth, energy and vision were deemed more “in” than age and experience. At 44, Fr. Dacian was elected provincial minister of the province’s some 425 friars. Completing his term of office in 1972, Fr. Dacian was appointed guardian of the House of Prayer in Cedar Lake, Indiana. In 1977, he was appointed by the Curia in Rome to serve as General Visitator to the Province of the Holy Spirit in Australia. He spent nine months visiting with the friars in the land “Down Under.” In 1979, Fr. Dacian was appointed assistant pastor at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with the understanding that in six months he would assume the responsibilities of director of novices. This he did… for the next seven years. In 1986, at the age of 64, Fr. Dacian requested assignment as a missionary to Africa. Stepping outside his Americanism, foregoing its comforts and security and leaving behind his fears and anxieties, Fr. Dacian made his way to the village of Subukia in Kenya. There he continued his work of the previous seven years, forming the African mind and heart according to that of St. Francis for yet another seven years. Fr. Dacian returned to the States in 1993 and, after a period of readjustment, accepted assignment to the retreat staff at St. Francis Retreat Center in Burlington, Wisconsin. In 2000, he then accepted a chaplaincy with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Mishawaka, Indiana. For the next eight years he shared with the sisters his many gifts and talents as preacher, teacher, confessor, spiritual director and formator. Despite his busy schedule, occasional physical discomfort and advanced years, he found the time and space to nurture his contemplative side… where he found peace, faith and the strength to keep working in the vineyard of the Lord. Having completed that which was given him to do, God saw fit to call His faithful servant to his heavenly home on August 12, 2007. Fr. Dacian ended his earthly sojourn in the 85th year of his life, the 65th of his religious profession and the 57th of his priesthood. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Juliana (Rozmiarek) Bluma. He is survived by his brothers, James Bluma, CSC, Bertrand (Dawn) of DeForest, WI, and Len (Rita) of Green Valley, AZ; his sisters, Helen LeCaptain of New Franken, WI, Esther Arvey of Clintonville, WI, and Carolyn Fonder of DePere, WI; nieces, nephews, cousins; and his brother friars of the Assumption BVM Province. A wake service was held in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Mishawaka, Indiana on Monday, August 13 at 7 p.m. and where a Memorial Mass will be held today (Tuesday) at 11:00 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Assumption BVM Church in Pulaski, Wisconsin on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. There will be a viewing in the Church prior to the Mass from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow in the provincial cemetery. Arrangements are by Thallemer, Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka and Marnocha Funeral Home, Pulaski. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen. Published in the South Bend Tribune on 8/14/2007.
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