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Dunne, Peter Masten


Jesuit historian; b. San Jose, Calif., April 16, 1889;d. San Francisco, Calif., Jan. 15, 1957. He attended Santa Clara College, Santa Clara, Calif., and entered the Society of Jesus at Los Gatos, Calif., on July 20, 1906. After 15 years of study and teaching, he was ordained at Hastings, England, on Aug. 24, 1921. On his return to the U.S., he was assigned to the staff of the Jesuit magazine America. Teaching assignments then took him again to Santa Clara College and Los Gatos, where he published his first book, a biography of the San Francisco foundress of the Helpers of the Holy Souls, Mother Mary of St. Bernard (1929). After his transfer in 1930 to the University of San Francisco, Dunne completed his doctoral studies in 1934 under Herbert Eugene Bolton at the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently wrote several works on Hispanic America and the Jesuit missions, including: Pioneer Blackrobes on the East Coast (1940), Pioneer Jesuits in Northern Mexico (1944), A Padre Views Latin America (1945), Early Jesuit Missions in Tarahumara (1948), Andres Perez de Ribas: Pioneer Blackrobe of the West Coast (1951), Blackrobes in Lower California (1952), and Jacopo Sedlmayr: Missionary, Frontiersman, Historian (1955). With John Francis Bannon, SJ, he wrote a textbook called Latin America: An Historical Survey (1947). His final work, Juan Antonio Baltasar: Padre Visitador to the Sonora Frontier, 17441745 (1957), was published posthumously. He wrote also more than 50 articles and many book reviews. In 1955 Dunne was elected president of the Pacific Coast branch of the American Historical Association; and in 1956, on the occasion of his golden jubilee as a Jesuit, the University of San Francisco awarded him the honorary degree of doctor of laws.

[j. b. mcgloin]

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