Oblate Father Datko, teacher, priest, served Holy Family, Duluth
Father James Louis Datko, OMI, 88, died in Duluth Oct. 17.
He was born to Edward and Rose (Kasprzak) Datko of St. Paul on Dec. 29, 1926.
He studied to become a priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St. Henry’s Preparatory High School in Belleville, Ill., and The DeMazenod Scholasticate in San Antonio, Texas. His first profession as a Missionary Oblate was in 1945 in Mission, Texas, and he was ordained a priest in 1952 in Belleville, Ill.
A vowed member of the Missionary Oblates for more than 70 years, he spent most of his 63 years of priesthood in the educational field. He pursued further education at the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame and Catholic University and earned a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome.
Father Datko taught philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha and in several Oblate educational institutions: Our Lady of the Ozarks College in Carthage, Mo.; Our Lady of the Snows Scholasticate in Pass Christian, Miss.; St. Joseph’s School of Theology in Durban, South Africa.
In addition to his educational ministries, he served briefly as a retreat director at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo and as associate pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Sturgeon Lake. He was associate pastor at Holy Family Church in Duluth from 1999 until his death.
Father Datko was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Father Jerome Datko, OMI. He is survived by a brother, Edward (Mary) Datko, five nieces and nephews and their families.
Mass of Resurrection was held at Holy Family Church, Duluth. Burial will be at St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery in Belleville, Ill., at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.