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Edward Joseph Hunkeler

Edward Joseph Hunkeler (January 1, 1894 – October 1, 1970) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Grand Island (1945–1951) and Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas (1951–1969).


Edward Hunkeler was born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, to Anton and Philomena (née Durst) Hunkeler.[1] He and his parents later moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he attended the parochial school of Holy Trinity Church before enrolling at the University of Dayton.[2] He completed his studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington.[1] He was ordained by Bishop James Joseph Hartley on June 14, 1919, for the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

Hunkeler then served as pastor of SS. Philip & James Church in Wynot until 1927, when he was transferred to Blessed Sacrament Church in Omaha.[1] From 1936 to 1945, he was rector of St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.[1] He was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope Pius XI in 1937, and became vicar general of the Diocese of Omaha in 1944.[2]

On March 10, 1945, Hunkeler was appointed the third Bishop of Grand Island by Pope Pius XII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Bishops James Hugh Ryan and Stanislaus Vincent Bona serving as co-consecrators, at St. Cecilia Cathedral.[3] During his tenure in Grand Island, he ordained 16 priests and established one of the largest parishes in the diocese.[2] He also oversaw a large increase in the construction of new churches and other religious institutions in the post-World War II era.[2]

He was named the seventh Bishop of Kansas City, Kansas, on March 31, 1951.[3] When the Diocese of Kansas City was elevated to the rank of an archdiocese on August 9, 1952, Hunkeler became its first Archbishop.[3] He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965. After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, he resigned as Archbishop on September 10, 1969; he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Selsea by Pope Paul VI on the same date.[3]

While returning from the installation of Bishop Kenneth Joseph Povish, Hunkeler was involved in an automobile accident near Crookston, Minnesota, on September 30, 1970.[2] He died two days later from a cardiovascular respiratory condition, aged 76.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Most Reverend Edward J. Hunkeler".  
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Archbishop Edward Joseph Hunkeler". 
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